In a statement, it says that the study, undertaken by Professors Walter Berka and Hannes Tretter, was similar to one undertaken three years ago that examined the closure of the Greek public broadcaster ERT in the light of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The Polish study concluded that the Interim Broadcasting Act violates freedom of expression and of the media as guaranteed by Article 10 ECHR.
It ousted the members of the supervisory and management boards of TVP and Polish Radio with immediate effect and empowered the Minister of the Treasury to appoint, at his own discretion and without any public competition, new members of both boards with the possibility of dismissing them at any time.
However, it also says that the Interim Broadcasting Act must be distinguished from the Act on the National Media Council (the so-called “bridge law”) adopted on June 22, 2016. This replaces to a large extent the provisions of the Interim Act, though without reversing its practical effects.
The purpose of the “bridge law” is essentially limited to creating a new joint supervisory body for all PSM organisations, the National Media Council (NMC), pending a more comprehensive media law reform still to come. Under the new rules, the NMC is competent for appointing and dismissing members of the management and supervisory boards of each of the PSM organisations.
Compared to the Interim Broadcasting Act, the Act on the National Media Council is less problematic with regard to Article 10 ECHR. While similar systems are in place in a number of European countries, the German Federal Constitutional Court (in the ZDF case) held that the governance framework must ensure that no political group is in a position to exert a dominant influence, and that the number of representatives of State institutions and of political parties must not exceed one third of the composition of PSM governing bodies.