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Written declaration No. 692 | Doc. 14979 | 02 October 2019

The role of the Polish National Television in the upcoming elections

Signatories: Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Ann-Britt ÅSEBOL, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Mr Fourat BEN CHIKHA, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Karin BROUWERS, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Mr Ervin BUSHATI, Albania, SOC ; Ms Klotilda BUSHKA, Albania, SOC ; Ms María Luisa BUSTINDUY, Spain, SOC ; Mr Algirdas BUTKEVIČIUS, Lithuania, SOC ; Mr Andrian CANDU, Republic of Moldova, SOC ; Mr Ahmet Ünal ÇEVİKÖZ, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Vernon COAKER, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Adnan DIBRANI, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Yunus EMRE, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Annicka ENGBLOM, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Piero FASSINO, Italy, SOC ; Ms Tarja FILATOV, Finland, SOC ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, SOC ; Ms Shpresa HADRI, North Macedonia, SOC ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Ms Inka HOPSU, Finland, SOC ; Ms Marietta KARAMANLI, France, SOC ; Mr Arin KARAPET, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Betian KITEV, North Macedonia, SOC ; Mr Ruud KOOLE, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Christophe LACROIX, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Jérôme LAMBERT, France, SOC ; Ms Elina LEPOMÄKI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Filippo LOMBARDI, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Mr Pere LÓPEZ, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Emanuel MALLIA, Malta, SOC ; Baroness Doreen MASSEY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Ola MÖLLER, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Simon MOUTQUIN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Josephine ORTLEB, Germany, SOC ; Mr George PAPANDREOU, Greece, SOC ; Mr Indrek SAAR, Estonia, SOC ; Ms Selin SAYEK BÖKE, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Frithjof SCHMIDT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Gheorghe-Dinu SOCOTAR, Romania, SOC ; Mr Manuel TORNARE, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Anne-Mari VIROLAINEN, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Martin WHITFIELD, United Kingdom, SOC

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

We strongly urge the Polish authorities to ensure that the country’s public service media fulfil their legal obligation to provide unbiased coverage of the forthcoming general election in Poland.

Poland took on such an obligation when adopting Council of Europe texts on election media coverage enumerated in Parliamentary Assembly’s Resolution 2254 (2019) on media freedom as a condition for democratic elections.

We are concerned that public service broadcast media should cover the election campaign fairly and impartially, so that all the participants can benefit from balanced media coverage.

Independent studies have shown that coverage of recent elections in Poland by public service news organisations such as Telewizja Polska (TVP) have been strongly biased in favour of Law and Justice (PiS), the ruling party.

Before the recent European Parliament election, the State Electoral Commission (PKW) asked the KRRiT, the electronic media regulator, to monitor bias in the public service media in the campaign. The KRRiT declined to do so.

TVP reporting before the forthcoming general election shows that the public service media continue to act brazenly as a propaganda channel for the ruling party. This failure by Poland to abide by its Council of Europe obligation is causing damage to the country’s reputation as a democratic member of the Council of Europe.