Demonstrations have taken place around Poland to protest against a new public media law. Media managers will now be selected by the Treasury Minister and can be recalled at any time.
The European Commission, has expressed concern the decision threatens media freedom. Poland’s government, the eurosceptic Law and Justice Party, or PiS, has warned Brussels not to get involved based on “biased and politically-engaged reports.”
Mateusz Kijowski, spokesperson for the Committee of Defence of Democracy (KOD) said:
“We meet because the freedom of the media is in danger, because democracy is in danger, since the media are a very important fuse for democracy. If the media cannot see the hands of the authorities, the citizens will not know what the authorities are doing.”
Poland’s liberal opposition has accused the government of trying to silence criticism in an effort to weaken the state’s main democratic institutions.
The PiS has named a former MP, Jacek Kurski, to head the state television station, TVP.
Earlier, the party had alluded to plans to “depoliticise” the state media, however it says the EC may have been given misleading information.
The Commission will hold talks on the issue on January 13, 2016.