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Luxembourg / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Luxembourg since 1992

  
The EU flag hangs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. A series of votes on legislation could impact journalists in member states. (AFP/Patrick Hertzog)

EU rulings on whistleblowers and right-to-be-forgotten laws puts press freedom at risk

European journalists were reminded today that their freedom to report is not only determined by national laws, but increasingly by European institutions. Today, after years of political battle, the European Parliament adopted the Passenger Name Record directive, the Data Protection Package, and the Trade Secrets Protection Act. The stakes were immense and the debates long…

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Balancing Act

Press freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values The European Union strives to be a global leader in press freedom but faces challenges from member states that have criminal defamation and blasphemy laws, and have introduced counterterrorism measures, including mass surveillance. The EU has made press freedom imperative in negotiating with…

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Balancing Act

About this report The report examines how the European Union upholds its commitment to press freedom in its interaction with member states, international bodies, and strategic partners. It examines the impact that repressive legislation in member states has on journalists, how calls for wider surveillance and governance in the wake of recent terror attacks risks…

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Balancing Act

Summary The European Union describes itself as a model for press freedom and an exemplary global power. Although many of its 28 member states feature at the top of international press freedom rankings, there are significant challenges that undermine press freedom and new threats are emerging.

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Balancing Act

The EU and press freedom “The European Union should…” Nearly every day this remark is on the lips of press freedom activists who blame the EU for not doing enough for press freedom. “The EU should call Hungary to order.” “The EU should slam Russia for its repression of the independent media.” “The EU should punish…

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Balancing Act

Press freedom in member states Press freedom is protected as a fundamental value by EU legislation, but journalists in the region face the threat of legal action from many member states that still have speech-chilling laws, and the threat of violence or intimidation from criminal and extremist organizations, as well as police and politicians.

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Balancing Act

Adding forces or shirking responsibilities? The EU and intergovernmental bodies When it comes to defending press freedom, the EU should be able to count on the support of other European institutions that share its values. The collaboration and interaction between the EU and these bodies should offer greater protection to journalists, but complex working arrangements…

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Balancing Act

The rule of law mechanism The Hungarian crisis in which Prime Minister Viktor Orbán brought in a succession of media laws and regulations that have crippled the independent press showed that most national governments and a significant number of MEPs underestimated Orbán’s threat to the EU as an institution and a community of values. They…

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Balancing Act

Hungary’s challenge to the EU When Viktor Orbán’s center-right conservative party Fidesz won parliamentary elections in 2010, few expected that Budapest would pose one of the most crucial challenges to the EU. “Orbán’s experiment is the first attempt to deconstruct the liberal system inside the EU. It is also the first time the EU has…

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Balancing Act

EU as media regulator The 1,000-strong EU press corps does not regularly cover EU press freedom policies, except in exceptional cases when, for instance, the Hungarian prime minister raucously rebuts his adversaries in the European Parliament. “EU correspondents cover the big picture, the big stories which are rocking the EU and its member states, like…

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