On the occasion of 3 May – World Press Freedom Day – the EU stated it was ready to pioneer new approaches for upholding press freedom, to continue to counter disinformation and seek with partners means to support sustainable business models for independent media.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day or just World Press Day.
The High Representative stated on behalf of the EU on Sunday that press freedom continues to be under threat at a time “when independent and free media reporting is more essential than ever”.
“Journalists continue to experience harsh working conditions with increasing financial and political pressure, surveillance, arbitrary prison sentences or violence for doing their work. According to the UNESCO Observatory, 76 journalists were killed since 2020, while many more were arrested, harassed or threatened worldwide. Of particular concern is gender-based violence targeting women journalists”, the statement reads.
The High Representative reminds of the EU initiatives to protect journalists, specifying that in 2020, more than 400 journalists benefited from the EU mechanism for protection of Human Rights Defenders, while the EU took “important actions to support journalists, independent media and the fight against disinformation in the context of the pandemic in many regions.”
The role of EU Delegations in the word, described as “the voice of the EU on the ground”, is highlighted.
“The EU is determined to do more, in Europe and abroad. The EU will continue coordinating with international organisations and mechanisms and pioneer new approaches. One example is the European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Services Act aimed at holding the major platforms accountable to make their systems fairer, safer and more transparent. We will also continue our action to counter disinformation and seek with all partners effective means to support sustainable business models for independent media”, the statement says.
Photo: EC – Audiovisual Service