In response to concerns from the European Parliament about media concentration and possible effects on pluralism and freedom of expression, Commissioner Reding for Information Society and Media has recommended a three step approach to understand the economic legal reality of European media developments and to safeguard media pluralism in Member States and the European Union as a whole. In addition to the draft directive Audiovisual Media Services Without Frontiers, already proposed in December 2005 as the successor to the TV Without Frontiers directive, Commissioner Reding together with Commission vice-president Margo Wallström presented the following three step approach for the coming years:
• A Commission staff working paper on media pluralism (presented 16 January 2007).
• An independent study on media pluralism in EU Member States to define and test concrete and objective indicators for assessing media pluralism in the EU Member States (in 2007).
• A Commission Communication on the indicators for media pluralism in the EU Member States (in 2008), for which a broad public consultation will take place.
In the 'Reding-Wallström' approach, the notion of media pluralism is broader than media ownership. It covers access to varied information so citizens can form opinions without being influenced by one dominant source. The Commission staff working paper, which presents the first step in the announced approach, is already available on the website of DG Information Society and Media. [16 January 2007]