World Press Freedom Day

Press Release
Brussels -
Foreign Affairs - Internal Policies and EU Institutions

Marking World Press Freedom Day, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated:

"Freedom of expression and information is one of the most basic rights of the EU as enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. Press freedom is a precondition for the preservation of all other political liberties.

Press freedom is never achieved once and for all: it is something that must be nourished and fought for every day. Threats to this fragile liberty never disappear, they just become more subtle; thus the need for an ever stronger vigilance by civil society and a sounder regulatory framework to safeguard access and pluralism.

Whilst advocating press freedom in our external actions, we must be intransigent in upholding the highest standards at home - always repudiating political control of the media sector, media monopolies and all forms of intimidation against journalists.

I welcome the increased prominence of media freedom in our enlargement and neighbourhood policies. Indeed media freedom must be taken consistently on board in all bilateral relations and agreements with third countries. In particular the EU will be paying close scrutiny to the consolidation of media freedom in the post-Arab Spring landscape.

On this day we also pay tribute to all those journalists who have risked and lost their lives to provide us with uncensored facts and exposed wrongdoings in the most dangerous corners of the world."

Note to editors:

European Parliament resolution of 12 May 2011 on the cultural dimensions of the EU's external actions:

European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2011 on media law in Hungary

For further information:

  • Armin Machmer
    Mobile: +32 479 97 11 98
  • Giacomo Fassina
    Mobile: +32 498 98 33 10