Council of Europe consultant Jean-Francois Furnemont has recommended that the function of regulating online mass media should not be transferred to the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council.He made the recommendation during an online discussion on the bill On the Mass Media. “I would advise you not to do this,” the expert said, stressing that this approach goes beyond the EU AVMS directive, which applies only to audiovisual media. Furnemont added that if the Ukrainian parliamentarians nevertheless take this step, then in such regulation the prohibitions should be limited to a minimum, and registration should be simple and clear. “Of course, there should be no further obligations on the content that would be imposed on online media, since this is not a European practice and it goes beyond the AVMS directive, which applies only to audiovisual media,” the expert emphasized. Describing the bill On Media, he emphasized that many of its wordings are unclear and vague and should be clarified or revised. In particular, this concerns issues of sanctions regarding media, requirements for their ownership (taking into account the work of the party, trade union and other press belonging to any associations), issues of registration and licensing. In his opinion, paragraphs regarding coverage of topics related to the public figures of the communist and national socialist regimes should be removed from the bill. He also stressed that the bill should primarily be aimed at protecting the right of the media to express themselves, and not focus on sanctions against the press. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the bill No. 2693 On Media proposed by members of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction provides for transfer of regulation of all media organizations, including online media outlets and information sharing platforms, as well as the right to ask a court to block online media, to the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council. In mid-May, the Verkhovna Rada sent bill No. 2693 On Media for a repeated first reading. On July 1, the parliamentary committee on humanitarian and information policy approved the revised text and recommended the Verkhovna Rada adopt it, despite the demands of a number of online media and bloggers to reject the bill. The representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, stated that the imposition of fines on the media on the basis of the vague wording of the bill No. 2693 On Media is a matter of concern. According to the NUJU and many journalists and the media, it contains threats to curtail freedom of speech in Ukraine.