Monday 20 April 2020 – 5:37pm

Newspapers | Credit: Tim Mossholder

From blueprint to footprint: Safeguarding media freedom and pluralism through the European Rule of Law Mechanism

PEN International and Norsk PEN (PEN Norway) endorse the Joint Recommendations for an ambitious European Rule of Law Mechanism that upholds press freedom and media pluralism. We join 23 civil society and press freedom organisations in making the recommendations contained below to EU leaders. Following is the letter and recommendation report addressed to Vera Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency and Didier Reynders, the European Commissioner for Justice and Didier Reynders, the European Commissioner for Justice.

Read the recommendations in full.


Dear Vice-President Jourová,

Dear Commissioner Reynders,

The launch of the European Rule of Law Mechanism and a dedicated chapter to media freedom and pluralism in the upcoming Annual Rule of Law Report are key opportunities to address the worrying state of press freedom in the EU.

We, the undersigned organisations, have joined forces and put together the attached recommendations on how to make the European Rule of Law Mechanism strong, timely, inclusive and representative of the challenges faced by journalists and the media sector.

Although we welcome the launch of the stakeholder consultation on 24 March, as well as the prospect of country-visits in each EU Member State, we believe substantial improvements can be brought to the Mechanism and Annual Report process, in order to effectively uphold press freedom and media pluralism and lead to concrete improvements for journalists and the media sector.

At a time when some member states are using the COVID-19 crisis to take emergency measures restricting the ability of the media and journalists to inform citizens, a strong stance from the EU to safeguard the rule of law is more than needed. This is why we urge you to make the most of the potential of the Mechanism and ensure it paves the way for a durable, critical and permanent process, going beyond monitoring and promoting the rule of law across the EU.

We thank you in advance for taking our concerns into consideration, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these recommendations during a joint (online) meeting.

We look forward to your response,

Sincerely,

  • ActiveWatch
  • Association Mondiale des Radiodiffuseurs Communautaires Europe (AMARC Europe)
  • Archiwum Osiatyńskiego
  • ARTICLE 19
  • Budapest Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
  • Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
  • Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation
  • DW Akademie
  • European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  • Free Press Unlimited (FPU)
  • Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
  • Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)
  • Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
  • IFEX
  • International Press Institute (IPI)
  • Media Diversity Institute (MDI)
  • Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC)
  • Norsk PEN
  • PEN International
  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
  • South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)
  • South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM)
  • Stichting Democracy & Media