Motion for a resolution - B7-0088/2009Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on freedom of information in Italy


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Manfred Weber, Simon Busuttil, Mario Mauro, Salvatore Iacolino, Roberta Angelilli, Clemente Mastella, Elisabetta Gardini, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0088/2009

Procedure : 2009/2688(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on freedom of information in Italy

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to European and international obligations in the field of human rights, such as those set out in the United Nations conventions on human rights and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

–   having regard to European Union provisions concerning human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas to claim that freedom of information is being flouted in Italy is an affront to the country as a whole, its citizens and the millions of individuals, including journalists, historians, philosophers, scholars, writers and teachers, who live there and avail themselves of freedom of expression in their everyday lives,

B.  whereas the lack of freedom of information is typical of life under dictatorships and totalitarian regimes which have deprived or are continuing to deprive people of their fundamental rights and freedoms,

C. whereas Italy is a true parliamentary democracy and one of the six founder members of the European Union,

D. whereas in Italy freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution, in which the right to full freedom of thought and expression is enshrined,

E.  whereas Italy has a wide range of free and independent media, including newspapers, radio and television operating at national, regional and local level and enjoying full freedom of information and expression,

F.  whereas the European Parliament must be a forum in which to discuss and propose ways of improving living conditions in each of the Member States,

G. whereas over the last few days the President of the Italian Republic, Mr Giorgio Napolitano, observed – during discussions on this matter with Members of the European Parliament elected in Italy – that the European Parliament 'cannot act as a court of appeal in respect of decisions by national parliaments and national government policies' and that appropriate fora exist for this purpose,

H. whereas in Italy legal redress in cases of alleged defamation is available to every individual, this being a statutory right enjoyed by every individual and one that had been exercised by political leaders of every hue in the past; whereas the exercise of a right may in no case be considered as an act of intimidation,

1.  Affirms that freedom of the press and of information is now a firmly established principle in the daily life of every Italian citizen;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.