The MediaFutures project – represented by Alexandra Garatzogianni and Gerrit Rosam – participated, showcasing its results, project status, lessons learned and actively engaged in the following policy discussion. The policy roundtable focused on objectives, state of the art, and results so far of the participating EU-funded projects, as well as on preliminary insights and implications for policy making. This cluster of Horizon 2020 research projects studies the current and profound transformations of European media platforms and landscapes. The round table discussed the impacts of these transformations on the evolution of a common European political, deliberative and cultural space as well as on the media representations of major European political and cultural issues, markers, symbols and identity elements. Thus, the representatives from the research consortia draw on early project findings to provide suggestions for policy makers on identified key policy issues in the area of media regulation and disinformation.

Media are a key sector of the cultural and creative industries, as well as the bedrock of democracy. They take on a vital socio-cultural and political role in helping the public shape opinions, views and aspirations as well as political choices and identities. There are many populist and authoritarian influences and challengers contesting democracy. It is therefore highly important to support the media in creating and actively supporting a vibrant European public sphere in which citizens can engage with one another as members of a political community.

The EU is building a regulatory framework that strengthens media pluralism, freedom of expression and transparency of ownership. The European Media Freedom Act proposals are the latest examples of this. Furthermore the EU is funding research on the transformations of traditional and digital media landscapes, both to facilitate the adaptation to such changes and to strengthen the resilience and stability of our democracies.

The presentations and discussion at the policy roundtable included topics, such as the critical exploration of media related risks and opportunities for deliberative communication, development scenarios of the european media landscape, mediatized discourses on europeanization and their representations in public perception, positive and negative externalities for european culture, media-related risks and opportunities, mediatized discourses on Europeanisation and European media systems.