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The European Parliament's Committee on Petitions has decided this Tuesday to keep open its investigation into possible information manipulation by Catalan public broadcaster TV3 and to ask both the Catalan and Spanish governments for more information.

MEPs took the decision today after hearing from the two petitioners, Cristian Escribano and Sergio Santamaría (a former PP deputy in the Catalan Parliament), who said TV3 is using public funds to "informationally manipulate" and "indoctrinate" its audience with content biased in favour of the independence movement.

The response to the petition was given by the president of TV3's professional council, Lluís Caelles, who said the channel is an example of "quality, credibility and impartiality". He attributed the challenge before the chamber to partisan political interests.

Brussels' options

MEPs from PP, PSOE, Cs and ERC also took part in the debate, as well as a representative of the European Commission who noted that Brussels has no control over the funding and organisation of public media, although it defends the need to ensure their "neutrality and plurality".

After hearing all the speeches, committee vice-chair Pál Csáky from Slovakia, said that the petition has to remain open and that he will request Madrid and Barcelona provide more details of the situation. They will provide the Commission with all the information they collect.

Finally, they will also ask the European Parliament's Committee on Culture to examine the case and issue a verdict. That said, given the timetable now, the petition won't be reviewed again until after the elections in May.

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