The Bulgarian Parliament passed Thursday the final Print Media Periodicals Bill aiming at transparency and clear rules in media ownership.
The amendments postulate that all print media must publish in their first issue for a particular calendar year information about their actual owner; in case when the publisher is a public company - the institution controlling the company must be noted.
Each publisher is mandated to submit with the Culture Ministry a declaration about the real owner of the media while the Ministry will publish the information on their official internet site.
The responsibility of complying with the new rules belongs to both publisher and distributor while the adherence to them would be monitored by local mayors.
Violators would be find between BGN 1 000 and 2 000, while repeat ones would face fines of BGN 3 000 to 5 000 and the funds will go to the municipal budgets.
The amendments aim to protect the citizens rights and were proposed for the first time in May by the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The proposal came in response to demands by the Union of Publishers in Bulgaria, who sounded an alarm over the lack of clarity in the ownership and financing of part of the media in the country, which in their words undermine the market.