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Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul and U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and co-chair of the Senate Poland Caucus  today released the following statement on their concerns with the government of Poland’s proposed media advertising tax:

“We are encouraged the Polish government is listening to concerns of both independent media outlets and civil society and may make the proposed tax fairer. However we remain concerned the proposed tax will further disadvantage independent media organizations compared to state-owned media organizations that receive government subsidies.

Freedom of the press is a pillar of any successful democracy. Poland’s fall from 18th to 62nd in the Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index within just six years is a concerning trend, and we urge the government of Poland to take steps to reverse that direction by reconsidering this unfair tax measure. Poland has a proud history of fighting for democratic freedoms, and, as a member of the European Union, it must hold itself to the highest standard of democratic principles.”