The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the Law of Ukraine No 917 – VIII On Reforming State and Municipal Print Mass Media.
On 21 December 2015, the President of Ukraine vetoed the adopted by the Parliament law On Reforming State and Municipal Print Mass Media and returned to the Parliament with the proposed amendments. On 24 December 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine viewed the proposed amendments of the President of Ukraine On Reforming State and Municipal Print Mass Media and adopted the law with the majority of votes.
The law on reforming state and municipal print mass media entered into force on 1 January 2016. From this date on the reforming process starts and entails one and two years’ stages respectively. The reform encompasses either the retraction of the representatives of public authorities and local governments from the founders’ composition of print media or transformation of print media into official print publications. The draft law entails that the labor collective of print media makes the decisions regarding the transformation. Reformed media are granted with state support in accordance with the terms and forms determined by law.
To reform media is one of the elements of the Association Agreement and the commitments of Ukraine to the Council of Europe since 2005. The existence of state and municipal print mass media have been creating unjustified advantages on the market and built censorship. From this moment on, the journalists of state and municipal print media have gained a chance to become independent.