Press freedom and media pluralism under threat in European Parliament vote on the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive

Publishers of newspapers and magazines in Europe today sounded the alarm ahead of a vote in the European Parliament on the proposal for an updated AVMS Directive that could seriously undermine media pluralism and press freedom in Europe.

The European Parliament has finalized a package of compromise amendments on the AVMS proposal which will be voted in the Culture committee on 25 April. Despite repeated calls from press publishers to avoid an unprecedented deregulation of the audiovisual advertising market in Europe, the proposed compromise texts would have significant impacts on the press sector.

Amongst other things, the Culture Committee compromises include a suggestion to make isolated ad spots as admissible as any other advertisements, including during TV prime time where these spots can be very expensive. Such a proposal – yet absent from the European Commission’s initial text - would create a strong incentive for advertisers to shift lots of their investments from the press to TV market, therefore making the financing of press editorial content more difficult. In the interest of preserving healthy economic conditions supporting a viable and pluralistic media landscape, EMMA and ENPA therefore call on MEPs in the Culture committee to reject the proposal on Article 19(2).

The Culture Committee compromises also surprisingly ignore the many amendments which support an hourly-based quantitative limitation of TV advertising (Article 23). This is not consistent with past positions of the European Parliament that had recognized the importance of such a rule in order to ensure that advertising revenue is distributed fairly across mass media. Finally, EMMA and ENPA regret that the concerns expressed in relation to quotas and the possibly broader inclusion of press websites under the scope of the Directive were not sufficiently taken into account.


For further information contact:

Max von Abendroth 
Executive Director, EMMA

+32 2 536 06 04

Sophie Scrive 
Executive Director, ENPA

+32 2 551 01 97


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 14 national associations across 14 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.