Vera Jourova, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said:
Democracy cannot work without free and independent media. Journalists should be able to report without fear or favour. Today’s projects are only a start. More than ever this Commission is determined to help strengthen media freedom and pluralism – this is a key objective of our upcoming European Democracy Action Plan.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, added:
The strategy on shaping Europe’s digital future that we recently presented reaffirms our unwavering support for the media sector. Our goal is to increase its competitiveness as well as to ensure citizens’ access to quality content and media pluralism.
The first project, led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, will focus on building a pan-European response mechanism for violation of media freedom to detect, address and prevent potential violations in the sector as well as to provide practical help to journalists under threat.
Finally, a series of funded projects will set up a range of activities (such as training and practical guides) that will be geared at providing support to independent and collaborative journalism and at promoting media freedom across the EU. In parallel to the afore-mentioned projects, the Media Pluralism Monitor, which focuses on identifying risks to media pluralism across Europe, is renewed for another year. The preliminary findings of this year’s report will be discussed at the event “Media and democracy – the way forward” on 20 March in Brussels and the full set of reports are expected to be published in April 2020. Finally, two ongoing Pilot Projects of a value of €1.7 million complement EU action in this area by supporting the mobility of young media professionals and the promotion of Media Councils in the digital age.