Media freedom trends 2017: Eastern Partnership countries

03-05-2017

Media freedom is a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy. That makes it a key part of the overall set of democratic and legal reforms being implemented by the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. As such, it is high on the agenda in political dialogue between the EU and these former Soviet states. Since the 2015 Eastern Partnership Media Conference highlighted media freedom in the EaP countries and options for EU engagement, international rankings assessing the levels of media freedom in most EaP countries have seen limited changes. Whereas Ukraine has made progress, despite the on-going crisis in the country, Moldova — former 'poster child' of the international media freedom rankings — has slipped downwards over recent years. In both countries, the Kremlin's increasing information activities present a difficult challenge to media freedom policies. Sustainable changes in media freedom do not happen overnight. Nevertheless, beneath the surface, EU-funded projects and programmes are helping to change the media landscape. The European Parliament (EP) has also been consistent in promoting and supporting press freedom and freedom of expression in the region.

Media freedom is a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy. That makes it a key part of the overall set of democratic and legal reforms being implemented by the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. As such, it is high on the agenda in political dialogue between the EU and these former Soviet states. Since the 2015 Eastern Partnership Media Conference highlighted media freedom in the EaP countries and options for EU engagement, international rankings assessing the levels of media freedom in most EaP countries have seen limited changes. Whereas Ukraine has made progress, despite the on-going crisis in the country, Moldova — former 'poster child' of the international media freedom rankings — has slipped downwards over recent years. In both countries, the Kremlin's increasing information activities present a difficult challenge to media freedom policies. Sustainable changes in media freedom do not happen overnight. Nevertheless, beneath the surface, EU-funded projects and programmes are helping to change the media landscape. The European Parliament (EP) has also been consistent in promoting and supporting press freedom and freedom of expression in the region.