Sunday

24th Oct 2021

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.

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.

Book Club: The Last Bluff

In this first EU Scream Book Club, co-authors of The Last Bluff recount how the world watched in awe — and often admiration — as a scrappy government in Athens tried to stare down Europe's financial and political establishment.

A hunger strike at the heart of Europe

This summer some 450 undocumented workers and migrants in Brussels refused food during two months. They were protesting Belgian immigration rules that human rights officials and campaigners say arbitrarily obstruct them from legal and stable residency.

News in Brief

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  2. China angered as MEPs call for Taiwan talks
  3. Emissions from La Palma volcano reach Brussels
  4. Body of eighth victim of Belarus border-crisis found in river
  5. Report: Syrian bank fiddling currency to evade EU sanctions
  6. Nato adopts plan to counter new Russian threats
  7. Alleged killer of British MP 'felt affiliated' to IS
  8. Coronavirus: Belgium returns to 'red' zone

A hunger strike at the heart of Europe

This summer some 450 undocumented workers and migrants in Brussels refused food during two months. They were protesting Belgian immigration rules that human rights officials and campaigners say arbitrarily obstruct them from legal and stable residency.

Eurocrats who look like Europe

There is a double standard at the heart of the European Commission. Women — mostly white women — benefit from affirmative action when applying for jobs. But people of colour seeking advancement do not benefit from special consideration.

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