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Since 2012 media freedom has been in general decline. While statistics for the 2002-2021 time-period show that the number of killings of journalists has declined somewhat in recent years (since 2013), there has been a marked erosion of legally enabling environments and an increase in other damaging forms of targeted attacks on the media. These include non-lethal physical violence; legal, digital, psycho-social, gender and identity-based intimidation; and state-led capture of the media landscape, ...

The annual rule of law reports, launched by the Commission in September 2020, are a new addition to the European institutions’ rule of law toolbox. The exercise can be described as a monitoring tool, as it collects data on the state of the rule of law in each of the 27 EU Member States but without drawing legal conclusions or giving specific recommendations. The second rule of law report was published in July 2021 and the third is expected in 2022, with the annual exercise becoming a permanent mechanism ...

The November I 2021 plenary session in Brussels was the first to be held without the use of remote voting since March 2020. During this mini-session, Parliament debated, in particular, a statement from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, on the escalating humanitarian crisis on the EU/Belarusian border, in particular in Poland. Members also heard an address by Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees ...

On 17-19 September, Russia will hold elections at local, regional and national level, most importantly to the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly. Four hundred and fifty deputies will be elected for a five-year term. Ever since 2003, the State Duma has been dominated by the pro-Putin United Russia party, which currently holds a three-quarters supermajority. With the ruling party clearly in charge, the parliament serves as little more than a rubber stamp for Kremlin and government ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, aims at finding the balance between regulatory measures to tackle disinformation and the protection of freedom of expression. It explores the European legal framework and analyses the roles of all stakeholders in the information landscape. The study offers recommendations to reform the attention-based, data-driven information landscape and regulate ...

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The previous programme focused ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, analyses legal definitions of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and assesses the compatibility of anti-SLAPP legislation with EU law. It is recommended that an anti-SLAPP Directive should be adopted, and that the Brussels Ia Regulation and Rome II Regulation should be recast to limit the incidence of SLAPPs.

Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and has been an EU candidate country since June 2014. After having made some progress in meeting the political criteria and the objectives related to the five key priorities for opening its EU accession negotiations on 26 March 2020, Albania has been advancing towards EU membership at a very slow pace. The main remaining obstacles include flaws in the functioning of its judiciary, in the fight against corruption and in the safeguarding of media freedoms and minority ...

This Briefing complements the Background Analysis on 'Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade: An Action Plan to Support Recovery and Transformation (news media sector)' and the Briefing on ‘Media Action Plan: Key challenges related to media pluralism, media freedom and democracy’. These three research papers were commissioned by the Policy Department for Structural and Cohesion Policies as a part of concomitant expertise aiming to support the work of the CULT Committee on the own initiative report ...

Media pluralism is an essential condition for any democratic society. It constitutes a source of access to a plurality of editorial lines and analyses, opinions and issues expressed, as well as a coexistence of public and private service media. Media pluralism is at risk due to several factors. First, the level of basic protection for journalists is threatened, for example in terms of the protection of their personal data online or abusive defamation charges against them. Second, most EU countries ...