Media freedom high on European agenda

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Media freedom and freedom of expression in the enlargement countries were topics of joint discussion between the Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes responsible for the Digital Agenda including media policy and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek on Tuesday in Strasbourg. They focused on how to best foster Freedom of Expression in the existing legal framework.

“There is no democracy without free press. Freedom of expression and media pluralism are at the heart of EU values: the same must be true for candidate and potential candidate countries. I made this clear during my recent visit to Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I will repeat it clearly in my visit to Turkey next week. The Commission can count on the support of all EP relevant committees and delegations in raising standards and awareness on this issue both within the EU and in its neighbourhood,” President Buzek said today.

Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “The Commission is working systematically to defend media freedoms and pluralism. We take it seriously not only within EU borders but in all our partner countries. Today’s meeting is another sign of the strong partnership between the Commission and European Parliament to defend media freedom and pluralism. In 2011 the Commission has used its existing competences to defend media freedom in Hungary. On a quite different scale, the EU has supported the fight for such freedoms in North Africa and beyond. We support this in law, through debate and through research. We support it online and offline and we will not waver in that support.”

In addition to working to ensure EU law is upheld in its member states, the Commission has this year established a High Level Committee chaired by the former President of Latvia, Prof. Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, and an academic centre based in Florence, to reflect on how best to continue promoting media freedoms and pluralism. Here to read more.

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