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Wednesday, 21 October 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Explanations of vote

  Ivo Belet (PPE), in writing. (NL) The surprising result of this vote will hopefully create scope for a real debate, a debate on the substance of the problems threatening media pluralism in Europe. We wholeheartedly support such a debate. We all know that freedom of the media is under pressure in several Member States (see the most recent Press Freedom Index report, published yesterday by Reporters Without Borders).

However, it is essential that we take a fundamental approach to these problems and develop an instrument to improve the situation throughout the EU, so that journalists are able to do their jobs without pressure from private or political stakeholders. Some Members of this House preferred to take a national tack and settle domestic national accounts, but it is good that that strategy failed, as it would have risked nipping the debate in the bud. We must now move away from these national games once and for all and invest our energy in structural solutions to a problem that, in the longer term, constitutes a real threat to our rule of law and to democracy in Europe.

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