New media law will be duly analysed, president says

Asked about his decision on the fate of the law changes, Andrzej Duda said it will be analysed and a relevant decision taken. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The Polish president vowed to thoroughly assess an amendment to a media law that critics say targets TVN24, a US-owned television news channel that has been highly critical of the government.

The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, on Friday voted down the Senate's (upper house) rejection of an amendment to a planned radio and TV broadcasting law which specifies that only entities headquartered in European Economic Area (EEA) countries can be granted a broadcasting licence, provided they are not dependent on entities from outside the EEA.

Asked about his decision on the fate of the law changes, Andrzej Duda said it will be analysed and a relevant decision taken.

"There are several options and, from this point of view, I will examine the legislative proposal passed by parliament," Duda said.

On August 24, Duda told public broadcaster TVP Info that the amendment "is a very controversial solution which is incomprehensible to our American partners for two reasons: firstly, because of the protection of property to which the Americans' attitude is known, and secondly, because of the value of freedom of speech, which in the US... is quite absolute."

In early September, Duda's chief aide, Paweł Szrot, said that the president is ready to veto the new radio and television law in its current form over its potential negative impact on economic freedom and freedom of speech.

On September 24, Duda told TVN24 that "If I come to the conclusion that important elements related to the constitutional order and security, such as running a business, investing in Poland, and the peace of mind investing in Poland, are put into question there, then the right decisions will be made."