Tuesday

11th Aug 2020

Podcast

Crisis communications

  • The EU Commission's daily midday briefing is now by video-conference only - but it is still going (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Eric Mamer took over last year as chief spokesperson for the European Commission, an institution he's served since mid-1990s.

When journalists were barred from his press room in March because of coronavirus, the amiable Frenchman had to improvise.

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His challenge is to put a crisis to good use: by reaffirming the relevance of the Commission's midday briefing even as member states stretch the rules his institution is meant to enforce to breaking point.

Israel Butler is head of advocacy for Liberties, a Berlin-based civil liberties organisation.

Butler describes how citizens and journalists can frame discussions about Covid-19 in ways that burnish the appeal of democratic freedoms, rather than detract from them.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Agenda

Coronabonds clash continues This WEEK

Finance ministers will hold all-important online meeting to find ways to mitigate the econmic fallout from the pandemic and heal wounds between northern and southern member states.

Coronavirus

Journalism hit hard by corona crisis

An already fragile business model for journalism might be dealt a lethal blow in the corona crisis. And the freedom of the press itself is coming under extreme pressure, as governments take swift and debilitating measures fighting the pandemic.

The high price of muzzling media

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

Data and Dystopia

Despite concerns about civil liberties and activities of companies like Clearview AI and Palantir, EU authorities are shaping a new industrial policy around artificial intelligence.

Standing up to bullies with Frans Timmermans

To succeed Timmermans needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries.

Winning the Car Wars

Lockdowns in response to the coronavirus mean quieter cities, clearer skies and easier breathing. For many city dwellers the lack of cars has been a revelation amid the suffering and loss inflicted by Covid-19.

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