National Council raises issue of responsible implementation of European media sanctions in partner countries

07.06.2024

Olha HERASYMIUK, the Chair of the National Council, discussed the current changes in the Ukrainian media landscape and Russia’s interference in Ukrainian media broadcasts at the 59th meeting of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA). She emphasized that Russia has started a war against Europe in space by disrupting the signals of Ukrainian channels on European satellites.

Over the past three months, Ukraine has observed a new stage in the Russian information war, involving interference with the satellite signals of Ukrainian TV and radio channels. Operators of the attacked satellites, which are under the jurisdiction of France and Luxembourg, confirmed that the sources of interference originated from Russian territory. «Therefore, we believe that Russia has started a war in space against Europe,» Olha Herasymiuk stressed.

The National Council informed EPRA, ERGA (the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services), satellite operator EUTELSAT, and the International Telecommunication Union about these attacks, demanding a clear response to Russia’s actions.

The Chair also drew the attention of European media regulators to the insufficient implementation of sanctions against Russian channels and media companies. She called on countries to unite their efforts to counter Russian attacks in the information sphere. Olha Herasymiuk also proposed EPRA to collect and summarize information on the implementation of EU sanctions by each member of the platform.

Additionally, the Chair described how Ukraine’s media industry is functioning under new legislation. This includes the beginning of the process of forming co-regulatory bodies, the educational project «Competent Media – Democratic and Tolerant Society,» and research on the gender profile of Ukrainian media.

The European participants responded with interest to the information presented, noting the importance of detailed information and personal communication.

Meeting also included discussion on media literacy and its importance in the electoral process. Representatives from various countries shared their efforts in addressing these tasks, since disinformation and the cluttering of social networks make upholding democratic values very challenging. These issues also exacerbate social polarization and create a hazardous information environment. Interactive discussions on the role of national regulators in the above-mentioned process also took place.

2024 is filled with elections all over Europe, which will occur in a tense geopolitical context and amidst advanced technological innovations that could cause information chaos. Therefore, there are high expectations that media literacy can help protect the electoral process and the integrity of democracy.

Representatives of the European Audiovisual Observatory, the European Commission, ERGA, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media presented their brief reports.

During the meeting, Armela Krasniki, the head of the Albanian media regulator, was elected as EPRA Vice-Chair for a one-year term. We congratulate our Albanian colleagues on this honorable mission.