Law on Reforming of State and Municipal Print Media is Adopted

December 24, 2015

24th of December 2015 Verkhovna Rada reviewed the propositions of the President of Ukraine on the law on Reforming of State and Municipal Print Media, and adopted it with the majority of votes.

In accordance with the Bylaws of Verkhovna Rada, the law with the President’s propositions after being delineated by the Committee of Freedom of Expression and Information Policy shall be forwarded to the head of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, who signs and immediately directs it to the President of Ukraine.

It is relevant to mention that on 21 December 2015 the President of Ukraine has used his right to veto the adopted by the Parliament law on reforming state and municipal print media and has returned the law to the Parliament with his amendments.

The proposition of the President contains two main directions: the guarantees of sustaining linguistic and information space on the territory of aggression, and preventing of legal uncertainty concerning the order of an official publishing of regulations.

The Committee of Freedom of Expression that discussed the propositions of the President at the planetary of 23rd of December decided to recommend the members of Parliament (MPs) to adopt the law.

Media Law Institute together with other two non-governmental organizations and media group of Reanimation Package of Reforms has demanded of the MPs to table the propositions of the President and to adopt them as soon as possible.  This law aims at eliminating unjustified advantages in the market of print media and counteract censorship. That said, around 550 newspapers are still under control of central and local governmental authorities, and are not able to fully perform the function of “the guardian of democracy” without a fear of censorship and pressure. The adoption of the law shall promote the development of pluralism in the media sector, the elimination of excessive state media market, and improve the editorial independence of the press.