Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

Media freedom threatened in most European countries, says OSCE

  • "Authorities have yet to understand that media are not their private property," says the OSCE (Photo: DRB62)

Media freedom is threatened in most European countries, warns the Organisation for Co-operation and Security in Europe, highlighting incidences in several of its member states including EU countries France, Italy and Greece.

In a report published Thursday (29 July), the 56-member OSCE, a loose gathering of states monitoring regional security, says that "freedom of the media concerns arise in most OSCE participating States. They only manifest themselves differently."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The report, published annually, says the "freedom to express ourselves is questioned and challenged from many sides" and the threats manifest themselves through "traditional methods" to silence free speech as well as "new technologies to suppress and restrict the free flow of information and media pluralism."

The breaches, either existing or potential, to media freedom range from a draft law on electronic surveillance and electronic eavesdropping law in Italy which could "seriously hinder investigative journalism" to a draft law in Estonia that may allow too many exemptions to the right to protect the identity of sources, to the fact that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is head of the public service broadcaster, France Televisions.

"The presidential nomination of the head of a country's public service broadcaster is an obstacle to its independence and contradicts OSCE commitments," said the body's Dunja Mijatovic, in charge of monitoring media freedom.

Other areas of concern include the recent adoption by the Hungarian Parliament of parts of a media package with elements threatening media freedom and a possible threat in Greece to a minority radio station that broadcasts in Turkish, while the organisation expresses hope that Germany will adopt a law protecting investigative journalists.

Beyond the EU, the "brutal attack" against a Serbian journalist known for his outspokenness against nationalism was highlighted as was the the "high number of criminal prosecutions" against journalists in Turkey covering sensitive issues as well "serious infringements" on media pluralism in Kyrgyzstan and a series of attacks against journalists in Russia.

"Many argue that media freedom is in decline across the OSCE region. In some aspects, I can subscribe to that," said Ms Mitjatovic.

"Authorities have yet to understand that media are not their private property and that journalists have the right to scrutinize those who are elected."

"Violence against journalists equals violence against society and democracy and should be met with harsh condemnation and prosecution of the perpetrators," she added.

With the internet changing the nature and scope of reporting, Ms Mijatovi also promised a study into the various internet laws in place across the OSCE countries.

"My office is currently working on the compilation of the first comprehensive matrix on internet legislation which will include an overview of legal provisions related to freedom of the media, the free flow of information and media pluralism on the internet in the OSCE region."

Mali blames West for chaos in Libya

Mali's foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop told the EU in Brussels that the lack of vision and planning following the Nato-led bombing campaign in Libya helped trigger the current migration and security crisis.

Commission warns Italy over high debt level

The Italian government must demonstrate it is making an effort, or the EU will consider launching a procedure. France and Romania are also under scrutiny.

Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes

The former Bosnian Serb warlord was sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide and war crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. Mladic is still regarded as a 'hero' among some Bosnian Serbs, in a country undergoing resurgent nationalism.

Mali blames West for chaos in Libya

Mali's foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop told the EU in Brussels that the lack of vision and planning following the Nato-led bombing campaign in Libya helped trigger the current migration and security crisis.

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban