Poland’s Duda rejects media foreign ownership law

Polish President Andrzej Duda has rejected the law passed by Polish legislators aimed at limiting foreign ownership in Poland-based media organisations. The adoption of the law was followed by public protests, as well as statements of concern from the EU and the US, British news portal The Guardian reports.
«I am vetoing it,» Andrzej Duda said in a televised statement, after the EU and the US heavily criticised the law. The law would have prevented companies outside the European Economic Area from holding a controlling stake in Polish media companies. That would have forced the US group Discovery to sell its majority stake in TVN, one of Poland’s biggest private TV networks. TVN24 is its news channel.
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The US Charge d’Affaires in Warsaw, Bix Aliu, thanked Duda «for his leadership and commitment to common democratic values and for protecting the investment climate in Poland». TVN’s board of directors in a statement welcomed the announcement «with appreciation and joy», saying the president had «stood up for good relations with the US».
Polish lawmakers adopted the law this month and the government had argued the law would protect Poland’s media landscape from potentially hostile actors such as Russia. Duda said he agreed with this principle, but that it should not be made to apply to existing business arrangements and investment treaties, The Guardian reports.