Statement of Civil Society Organisations and Media-Group of the RPR on the Law on Reforming State and Municipal Print Media

December 24, 2015

The public expresses concern about the failure of the President of Ukraine to sign the law on Reforming State and Municipal Print Media and pleads the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to promptly table the propositions of the President.

25 November the Parliament of Ukraine said ‘ yes’ to the reform of state and municipal print media, passing the legislation No1123, that was approved by the Council of Europe. The law was directed to the President to sign; however, the President used his right to veto and returned the law to the Verkhovna Rada together with his provisions.

The law aims at the elimination of unjustified advantages in the print media market and counter press censorship. Thus, 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 press.

We call upon the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to promptly review the propositions of the President to the law and adopt them. We hope that the Parliament will be consistent in its intentions to implement one of the key reforms in the sphere of freedom of speech.

Media – group of the Reanimation Package of Reforms

NGO “Media Law Institute”

NGO “Telekritika”

NGO “Institute of Mass Information”