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Strengthening media freedom in the EU

19-11-2020

The EU is actively engaged in protecting the independence and safety of journalists as crucial components of the proper democratic functioning of its institutions and Member States. Media freedom, however, has been deteriorating in recent years. Threats, harassment, public shaming and even assassinations of media actors are on the rise. At its November II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on an own-initiative report concerned with strengthening media freedom. The report emphasises ...

The EU is actively engaged in protecting the independence and safety of journalists as crucial components of the proper democratic functioning of its institutions and Member States. Media freedom, however, has been deteriorating in recent years. Threats, harassment, public shaming and even assassinations of media actors are on the rise. At its November II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on an own-initiative report concerned with strengthening media freedom. The report emphasises that combating media capture, hate speech and misinformation is fundamental when it comes to defending the rule of law and democracy in the EU.

SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS AND THE FIGHTING OF CORRUPTION IN THE EU

15-07-2020

Journalism and journalists face a growing range of threats, including violence and harassment; the misuse of defamation and other laws against them, and restrictive measures on freedom of information and expression adopted in response to the Covid-19 crisis. States must ensure a safe and favourable environment for journalists to perform their public watchdog function. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request ...

Journalism and journalists face a growing range of threats, including violence and harassment; the misuse of defamation and other laws against them, and restrictive measures on freedom of information and expression adopted in response to the Covid-19 crisis. States must ensure a safe and favourable environment for journalists to perform their public watchdog function. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the overall chilling effect of crimes and threats against journalists and explores various regulatory and other measures to counter them.

Parlamendiväline autor

Tarlach McGONAGLE

The impact of coronavirus on media freedom

08-05-2020

Media freedom has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent years. In its 2019 report on media freedom, Freedom House argued that media freedom around the world was coming under growing threat both in democratic and non-democratic countries, whilst in its 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argue that the next decade will be pivotal in ensuring the preservation of media freedom. This threat to media freedom is often attributed to the recent rise of ...

Media freedom has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent years. In its 2019 report on media freedom, Freedom House argued that media freedom around the world was coming under growing threat both in democratic and non-democratic countries, whilst in its 2020 edition of the World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argue that the next decade will be pivotal in ensuring the preservation of media freedom. This threat to media freedom is often attributed to the recent rise of populist and authoritarian governments, with many world-leaders – including leaders of major democracies – increasingly seeming to view free media as an opponent, rather than a fundamental aspect of a free society. The knock-on effects of such actions can be grave, particularly given the important role that a free media plays in upholding democracy and democratic freedoms. Media freedom and pluralism are part of the rights and principles enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant ramifications for public health, social welfare and the economy, the crisis also presents a significant threat to media freedom. Media freedom proponents have warned that governments across the world could use the coronavirus emergency as a pretext for the implementation of new, draconian restrictions on free expression, as well as to increase press censorship. In many countries, the crisis has been exploited for just such reasons, with political leaders using it as a justification for additional restrictions on media freedom. In its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, RSF argues that certain governments have used the crisis to impose media restrictions that in ordinary times would be impossible. The Council of Europe (CoE) Platform for the Protection of Journalists has warned that the fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid 19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy media freedom outlook.

Serbia at risk of authoritarianism?

02-05-2019

Among the Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership, Serbia is seen as a frontrunner in terms of its democratic institutions, level of economic development and overall readiness for accession. However, in November 2018 opposition politician, Borko Stefanović, was beaten up by thugs, triggering a wave of protests that has spread across the country. Week after week, thousands have taken to the streets, accusing Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, and his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of ...

Among the Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership, Serbia is seen as a frontrunner in terms of its democratic institutions, level of economic development and overall readiness for accession. However, in November 2018 opposition politician, Borko Stefanović, was beaten up by thugs, triggering a wave of protests that has spread across the country. Week after week, thousands have taken to the streets, accusing Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, and his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of authoritarian rule, attacks on independent media, electoral fraud and corruption. Although the protests only started recently, they highlight worrying longer-term trends. Press freedom has been in decline for several years, particularly since Vučić became prime minister in 2014. A large part of the media is now controlled either directly by the state or by pro-SNS figures. Independent journalists face threats and even violence, and perpetrators are rarely convicted. In the National Assembly, the governing coalition uses its parliamentary majority to systematically block meaningful discussions of legislative proposals. In protest, the opposition started a boycott of plenary debates in February 2019. The tone of verbal attacks by SNS politicians and their allies on independent media, the political opposition and civil society is often virulent. Criticising government policy is framed as betrayal of Serbian interests. The aim seems to be to marginalise critical voices while concentrating power in the hands of the SNS-led government. Elected to the mainly ceremonial role of president in 2017, Vučić nevertheless remains the dominant figure. If Serbia's drift towards authoritarianism continues, it could become a major obstacle to EU accession, for which 2025 has been mentioned as a possible date.

Living in the EU: European Elections and Democracy

30-04-2019

The concept of participation lies at the heart of the European project, however recent years have seen a decrease in electoral turnout in contrast to the broader feelings of EU citizens of being part of a wider project promoting prosperity, social cohesion, unity and tolerance. Participation differs among different groups, and among the most explored is the gender gap in political participation, even though progress has been achieved over the years. Nowadays many European citizens show an increasing ...

The concept of participation lies at the heart of the European project, however recent years have seen a decrease in electoral turnout in contrast to the broader feelings of EU citizens of being part of a wider project promoting prosperity, social cohesion, unity and tolerance. Participation differs among different groups, and among the most explored is the gender gap in political participation, even though progress has been achieved over the years. Nowadays many European citizens show an increasing attachment to the EU, and its democracy, despite the perception of corruption and the challenges to press freedom affecting Member States to different degrees.

Legal analysis with focus on Article 11 of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Market

07-12-2017

The briefing paper gives a brief introductory presentation of the provisions of the copyright proposal COM (2016)593 concerning the creation of new rights for press publishers to protect their press publications under EU law. It also discusses the reasoning behind the creation of new rights for press publishers to ensure a fair remuneration and sheds light on the definitions "press publishers" and "press publications" and the scope of the protection as well as the effects of the proposed directive ...

The briefing paper gives a brief introductory presentation of the provisions of the copyright proposal COM (2016)593 concerning the creation of new rights for press publishers to protect their press publications under EU law. It also discusses the reasoning behind the creation of new rights for press publishers to ensure a fair remuneration and sheds light on the definitions "press publishers" and "press publications" and the scope of the protection as well as the effects of the proposed directive.

Parlamendiväline autor

Christophe CARON, Professor of the Faculty of Law, University Paris-Est

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, October II 2017

27-10-2017

The highlights of the October II plenary session included a debate on the conclusions of the last European Council meeting and the presentation of a new agenda for EU leaders, as well as the presentation of the 2018 Commission work programme. Members paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist killed in a car bomb explosion on 16 October.

The highlights of the October II plenary session included a debate on the conclusions of the last European Council meeting and the presentation of a new agenda for EU leaders, as well as the presentation of the 2018 Commission work programme. Members paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist killed in a car bomb explosion on 16 October.

2016 report on Turkey

27-06-2017

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

Kosovo: 2016 country report

07-06-2017

In June, following the early election in Kosovo, the European Parliament is due to vote on a resolution on Kosovo's 2016 report. It calls for restoring the political dialogue, swift fulfilment of the Commission's two conditions for visa liberalisation and continued commitment to the dialogue with Belgrade.

In June, following the early election in Kosovo, the European Parliament is due to vote on a resolution on Kosovo's 2016 report. It calls for restoring the political dialogue, swift fulfilment of the Commission's two conditions for visa liberalisation and continued commitment to the dialogue with Belgrade.

Media freedom trends 2017: Western Balkans

03-05-2017

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

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