Journalism under pressure: In recent years, freedom of the press has come under pressure in the EU. With journalists facing threats or even coming under attack, what can the EU do to ensure journalists can work safely and freely?

Submitted by: Dan Nguyen (NL), Famke van den Dungen (NL), Rahim Hammani (NL), Wies de Ridder (NL), Sofia Giani (Chairperson, IT)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Alarmed by the large number of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs)1,
  2. Aware of the rise in government censorship in some Member States,
  3. Deeply concerned by the growing number of homicides of journalists in the EU,
  4. Disturbed by the increasing harassment and violence journalists in the EU are facing,
  5. Fully believing in freedom of the press as a pillar of liberal democracy in the EU;
  1. Calls upon the European Commission to create an intergovernmental task-force of lawyers aimed at providing legal advice to legal persons2 being sued with SLAPPs; 
  2. Encourages the European Commission to further support the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like the European Federation of Journalists to ensure the safety and health of journalists, increase the trust in and quality of journalism, and counter political interference in the media;
  3. Urges the European Commission to direct funds to NGOs that safeguard journalists such as Reporters Without Borders; 
  4. Requests the Council of Europe to further develop and expand their Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists with additional guidelines for journalists reporting from ‘dangerous’ environments;
  5. Recommends the Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM) to spread awareness about the principles stated in the International Federation of Journalists’ Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists through media campaigns;
  6. Reminds Member States to align their actions to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  7. Invites Member States to further fund NGOs that support or help independent media outlets and journalists.
  1.  Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation:  generally refers to a lawsuit filed by powerful subjects, such as a corporation, a public official or a high-profile business person, against non-government individuals or organisations who expressed a critical position on issues of some political interest or social significance.
  2.  Legal person: a company that has full legal rights and responsibilities according to the law.