The group, which is fully independent, was established in October 2011 by Vice-President Neelie Kroes, and is chaired by the former President of Latvia, Professor Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. The other members are Professor Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Professor Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro and Ben Hammersley.
The mandate of the group was to draw up a report for the Commission with recommendations for the respect, protection, support and promotion of pluralism and freedom of the media in Europe. The findings and recommendations of the Group are now public and are available on this page.
The Commission invited the group to analyse and provide recommendations on issues such as:
- limitations to media freedom arising from political interference (state intervention or national legislation)
- limitations to media independence arising from private and commercial interference
- the question of the concentration of media ownership and its consequence for media freedom/pluralism and on the independence of journalists
- existing or potential legal threats to the protection of journalists' rights and their profession in Member States
- the role and independence of regulatory authorities
- existing or potential measures in favour of quality journalism, ethics and media accountability, within the respective competences of national, EU and international authorities.
See also the public consultations results on:
- the independence of the audiovisual regulatory bodies.
- the Independent Report from the High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism. Read the summary of the replies.