Media freedom and pluralism are core values enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is our collective duty to protect journalists and their work, and today, by adopting the European Media Freedom Act, MEPs took a step towards better ensuring their safety. 

The Pegasus and Predator scandals exposed how journalists and their sources are at risk. This act introduces significant restrictions on the kind of spying used recently by governments such as those in Greece and Hungary. Still, a few countries, France, Finland, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Sweden, tried – and thankfully failed – to block the agreement during negotiations in the Council. 

The adoption of this file is a victory for all journalists who put their lives at risk to keep European citizens informed and providing a valuable democratic counter-power. Attacking journalists is attacking democracy. 

261 journalists have been murdered worldwide for their work, according to the Global Impunity Index published by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) with four journalist murders remaining unpunished today in the EU. As Left MEP Stelios Kouloglou said during his plenary speech, this legislation should be dedicated to all journalists who have been murdered for doing their job, such as Daphne Caruana Galizia, Giórgos Karaïváz and many more.

«This regulation will set rules for media transparency and concentration, editorial independence, protection of journalists, will put an end to indecency for the big platforms, will create a European body for the media, will protect journalistic sources[…] I cannot fail to mention that some governments, among them the Greek one, tried until the last moment to block important provisions for the protection of journalists. It seems some people are addicted to spyware.» says MEP Stelios Kouloglou (Greece, New Left).

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