Press freedom in the EU
Event date: 03/03/2021
The European Parliament has repeatedly advocated press freedom and media pluralism in the EU and abroad. May 3 is the World Press Freedom Day.
On 3 of May 2018 The EP adopted a resolution on media pluralism and media freedom in the EU, noting the political developments in various members states, that have led to increased pressures on and threats against journalists. It called on the EU institutions to guarantee full implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as a means to thouroughly uphold media pluralism and media freedom. Parliament called on member states to take appropriate measures, including adequate public funding, to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape. The European Commission presented in December 2020 an Action plan for the media and audiovisual sector- a strategic roadmap for the recovery and transformation of the sector, with 10 concrete actions. The EC might prepare also a European Media Freedom Act to complement the legislative arsenal in order to ensure that media freedom and pluralism are the pillars of our democracies. The European Parliament has recently approved the Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism. The prize will distinguish outstanding journalism revolving around the principles and values of the European Union. The last Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) annual report and index on press freedom has highlighted diverging trends within the European Union, and has led to calls for action to ensure the media are protected. While EU Member States such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark are world-leaders in ensuring a free press, others like Bulgaria, Hungary and Malta are lagging behind in the index with some of the lowest rankings. Worryingly, Poland dropped to its lowest ranking ever on the index. According to RSF’s ranking, violence against journalists is becoming more prevalent across the EU. In this context we should not forget to mention the murders of two journalists-, Slovak- Ján Kuciak and Maltese- Daphne Caruana Galizia- that happened only a few years ago.