BETA


2011/2081(INI) Freedom of press and media in the world

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFET SCHAAKE Marietje (icon: ALDE ALDE) IBRISAGIC Anna (icon: PPE PPE), JAAKONSAARI Liisa (icon: S&D S&D), KIIL-NIELSEN Nicole (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), TANNOCK Timothy Charles Ayrton (icon: ECR ECR)
Committee Opinion DEVE
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2013/11/15
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2013/06/13
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2013/06/13
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the freedom of press and media in the world.

Recalling the main principles and the role of the press and media, in particular in the digital age, Parliament underlines that, recently, some governments have been responsible for hampering freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation. It is, however, vital that the press and media can operate independently and free of pressure through political and financial means. Members are alarmed at the general downward trend in the grading of the press and media freedom environments in various countries both within and outside Europe.

They emphasise that free, independent and pluralistic online and traditional media are one of the cornerstones of democracy and pluralism. They deplore the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity. In their view, the effects of impunity have an impact not only on the freedom of the press, but also on the daily work of journalists, as well creating a climate of fear and self-censorship. Parliament also believes that the EU should take a tougher stance towards countries that constantly allow such acts to go unpunished.

Parliament stresses that indirect pressure on the press and the media can be brought by governments. It considers that in many countries the media rely heavily on government advertising , which can then become a tool to pressurise the media, and that licences or fiscal penalties can also be used to restrict the operation of critical media.

Overall, Parliament considers that laws, statutory regulation, intimidation, fines and highly concentrated ownership by politicians or others with conflicting interests are all factors that can limit the freedom to acquire and access information and that can result in threats to freedom of expression. Moreover, it deplores the fact that the criminalisation of expression is on the rise and are aware of the use of defamation, blasphemy and libel laws, as well as legislation referring to ‘the degrading of the country’s image abroad’ or to ‘homosexual propaganda. It regrets that censorship fosters self-censorship .

At the same time, Members consider that the trend of concentrated media ownership in large conglomerates to be a threat to media freedom and pluralism. Too often media are used as and/or are involved in traditional propaganda tools . They emphasise that public service media should be free and independent both from a financial and a political point of view. They encourage the development of ethical codes for journalists as well as for those involved in the management of media outlets, in order to ensure the full independence of journalists and media bodies.

Digitisation : Parliament recognises the important role played by digital and online media platforms in the uprisings against dictatorial regimes in recent years, as well as the magnified reach and impact of the information spread by these new media. It is of the view that the digitisation of the press and media is adding new layers to the media landscape and facilitates everyone’s access to information .

Parliament stresses the need for global interoperability and appropriate regulation to free up the full potential of IT infrastructures. It deplores all attempts to create various forms of ‘closed internet’ or to censor bloggers, as well as the fact that numerous technologies and services deployed in third countries to violate human rights through censorship of information, mass surveillance, monitoring, and tracing and tracking of citizens and their activities on (mobile) telephone networks and the internet originate in the EU. It is concerned over mass surveillance, mass censoring, and blocking and filtering tendencies affecting not only the media and the work of journalists and bloggers but also hindering the work of civil society in bringing about significant political, economic and social change. It calls on the Commission to take all necessary steps to stop this ‘ digital arms trade ’.

Parliament stresses the fact that digital and (computer) data-driven platforms or services such as search engines are privately owned and require transparency so as to preserve the public value of information. It strongly condemns all attempts to use the internet or other online media platforms to promote terrorist activities . It urges the authorities to take a firm stance in this respect.

EU policies and external actions : the resolution stresses that the EU should lead by example in order to ensure the safeguarding of freedom of the press and expression. To this end, the Union should not interfere with content but should, rather, support an enabling environment and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression globally. However, Members note with concern that, in recent years, some media, notably in the EU, have come under scrutiny themselves for unethical behaviour.

Strategy : Parliament considers that the EU lacks a coherent strategic vision and benchmarks on the issue of press and media freedom. This is why it calls on the Commission, in particular DG DEVCO and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to improve their cooperation and coordination of programming, particularly by synergising their political and diplomatic work. Members also urge the Union to play a more significant role notably in the candidate countries, as well as in relation to its immediate southern and eastern neighbourhood. They call on the EU to adopt a strategy to ensure that it closely monitors and reacts to changes in legislation which restrict pluralism and freedom of the press in third countries. To this effect, existing external financial instruments, such as the EIDHR, or even association agreements with third countries need to be mobilised.

Lastly, Parliament calls on the Commission to:

make the fight against impunity one of its priorities in its programmes concerning freedom of expression and the media; adopt a Press and Media Freedom Strategy in the framework of EU foreign policy; incorporate the recommendations of this report in the forthcoming Guidelines on Freedom of Expression (online and offline).

Documents
2013/06/13
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2013/06/12
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2013/05/20
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Marietje SCHAAKE (ALDE, NL) on the freedom of press and media in the world.

Recalling the main principles and the role of the press and media, in particular in the digital age, Members underline that, recently, some governments have been responsible for hampering freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation. It is, however, vital that the press and media can operate independently and free of pressure through political and financial means. They are alarmed at the general downward trend in the grading of the press and media freedom environments in various countries both within and outside Europe.

Members emphasise that free, independent and pluralistic online and traditional media are one of the cornerstones of democracy and pluralism. They deplore the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity. In their view, the effects of impunity have an impact not only on the freedom of the press, but also on the daily work of journalists, as well creating a climate of fear and self-censorship. They believe that the EU should take a tougher stance towards countries that constantly allow such acts to go unpunished.

Overall, Members consider that laws, statutory regulation, intimidation, fines and highly concentrated ownership by politicians or others with conflicting interests are all factors that can limit the freedom to acquire and access information and that can result in threats to freedom of expression. Moreover, they deplore the fact that the criminalisation of expression is on the rise and are aware of the use of defamation, blasphemy and libel laws, as well as legislation referring to ‘the degrading of the country’s image abroad’ or to ‘homosexual propaganda. They regret that censorship fosters self-censorship .

At the same time, Members consider that the trend of concentrated media ownership in large conglomerates to be a threat to media freedom and pluralism. They believe that public service media should be free and independent both from a financial and a political point of view. They encourage the development of ethical codes for journalists as well as for those involved in the management of media outlets, in order to ensure the full independence of journalists and media bodies.

Digitisation: Members recognise the important role played by digital and online media platforms in the uprisings against dictatorial regimes in recent years, as well as the magnified reach and impact of the information spread by these new media. Members are of the view that the digitisation of the press and media is adding new layers to the media landscape and facilitates everyone’s access to information .

Members stress the need for global interoperability and appropriate regulation to free up the full potential of IT infrastructures. They deplore all attempts to create various forms of ‘closed internet’ or to censor bloggers, as well as the fact that numerous technologies and services deployed in third countries to violate human rights through censorship of information, mass surveillance, monitoring, and tracing and tracking of citizens and their activities on (mobile) telephone networks and the internet originate in the EU. They urge the Commission to take all necessary steps to stop this ‘digital arms trade’.

Members stress the fact that digital and (computer) data-driven platforms or services such as search engines are privately owned and require transparency so as to preserve the public value of information. They strongly condemn all attempts to use the internet or other online media platforms to promote terrorist activities . They urge the authorities to take a firm stance in this respect.

EU policies and external actions: Members stress that the EU should lead by example in order to ensure the safeguarding of freedom of the press and expression. To this end, the Union should not interfere with content but should, rather, support an enabling environment and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression globally. However, they note with concern that, in recent years, some media, notably in the EU, have come under scrutiny themselves for unethical behaviour.

Members consider that the EU lacks a coherent strategic vision and benchmarks on the issue of press and media freedom. This is why Members call on the Commission, in particular DG DEVCO and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to improve their cooperation and coordination of programming, particularly by synergising their political and diplomatic work. They also urge the Union to play a more significant role notably in the candidate countries, as well as in relation to its immediate southern and eastern neighbourhood. They call on the EU to adopt a strategy to ensure that it closely monitors and reacts to changes in legislation which restrict pluralism and freedom of the press in third countries. To this effect, existing external financial instruments, such as the EIDHR, or even association agreements with third countries need to be mobilised.

Lastly, Members call on the Commission to:

make the fight against impunity one of its priorities in its programmes concerning freedom of expression and the media; adopt a Press and Media Freedom Strategy in the framework of EU foreign policy; incorporate the recommendations of this report in the forthcoming Guidelines on Freedom of Expression (online and offline).

Documents
2013/05/07
   EP - Vote in committee
2013/04/11
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2013/03/08
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2012/05/30
   EP - SCHAAKE Marietje (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in AFET
2011/05/12
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament

Documents

Activities

AmendmentsDossier
171 2011/2081(INI)
2013/04/11 AFET 171 amendments...
source: PE-508.230

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2013-05-07T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: IBRISAGIC Anna group: S&D name: JAAKONSAARI Liisa group: Verts/ALE name: KIIL-NIELSEN Nicole group: ECR name: TANNOCK Charles responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2012-05-30T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: SCHAAKE Marietje body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-176&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0176/2013 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
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  • date: 2013-06-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22940&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-274 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0274/2013 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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  • date: 2013-04-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE508.230 title: PE508.230 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2013-11-15T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=22940&j=0&l=en title: SP(2013)626 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
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  • date: 2011-05-12T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2013-05-07T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-176&language=EN title: A7-0176/2013 summary: The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Marietje SCHAAKE (ALDE, NL) on the freedom of press and media in the world. Recalling the main principles and the role of the press and media, in particular in the digital age, Members underline that, recently, some governments have been responsible for hampering freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation. It is, however, vital that the press and media can operate independently and free of pressure through political and financial means. They are alarmed at the general downward trend in the grading of the press and media freedom environments in various countries both within and outside Europe. Members emphasise that free, independent and pluralistic online and traditional media are one of the cornerstones of democracy and pluralism. They deplore the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity. In their view, the effects of impunity have an impact not only on the freedom of the press, but also on the daily work of journalists, as well creating a climate of fear and self-censorship. They believe that the EU should take a tougher stance towards countries that constantly allow such acts to go unpunished. Overall, Members consider that laws, statutory regulation, intimidation, fines and highly concentrated ownership by politicians or others with conflicting interests are all factors that can limit the freedom to acquire and access information and that can result in threats to freedom of expression. Moreover, they deplore the fact that the criminalisation of expression is on the rise and are aware of the use of defamation, blasphemy and libel laws, as well as legislation referring to ‘the degrading of the country’s image abroad’ or to ‘homosexual propaganda. They regret that censorship fosters self-censorship . At the same time, Members consider that the trend of concentrated media ownership in large conglomerates to be a threat to media freedom and pluralism. They believe that public service media should be free and independent both from a financial and a political point of view. They encourage the development of ethical codes for journalists as well as for those involved in the management of media outlets, in order to ensure the full independence of journalists and media bodies. Digitisation: Members recognise the important role played by digital and online media platforms in the uprisings against dictatorial regimes in recent years, as well as the magnified reach and impact of the information spread by these new media. Members are of the view that the digitisation of the press and media is adding new layers to the media landscape and facilitates everyone’s access to information . Members stress the need for global interoperability and appropriate regulation to free up the full potential of IT infrastructures. They deplore all attempts to create various forms of ‘closed internet’ or to censor bloggers, as well as the fact that numerous technologies and services deployed in third countries to violate human rights through censorship of information, mass surveillance, monitoring, and tracing and tracking of citizens and their activities on (mobile) telephone networks and the internet originate in the EU. They urge the Commission to take all necessary steps to stop this ‘digital arms trade’. Members stress the fact that digital and (computer) data-driven platforms or services such as search engines are privately owned and require transparency so as to preserve the public value of information. They strongly condemn all attempts to use the internet or other online media platforms to promote terrorist activities . They urge the authorities to take a firm stance in this respect. EU policies and external actions: Members stress that the EU should lead by example in order to ensure the safeguarding of freedom of the press and expression. To this end, the Union should not interfere with content but should, rather, support an enabling environment and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression globally. However, they note with concern that, in recent years, some media, notably in the EU, have come under scrutiny themselves for unethical behaviour. Members consider that the EU lacks a coherent strategic vision and benchmarks on the issue of press and media freedom. This is why Members call on the Commission, in particular DG DEVCO and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to improve their cooperation and coordination of programming, particularly by synergising their political and diplomatic work. They also urge the Union to play a more significant role notably in the candidate countries, as well as in relation to its immediate southern and eastern neighbourhood. They call on the EU to adopt a strategy to ensure that it closely monitors and reacts to changes in legislation which restrict pluralism and freedom of the press in third countries. To this effect, existing external financial instruments, such as the EIDHR, or even association agreements with third countries need to be mobilised. Lastly, Members call on the Commission to: make the fight against impunity one of its priorities in its programmes concerning freedom of expression and the media; adopt a Press and Media Freedom Strategy in the framework of EU foreign policy; incorporate the recommendations of this report in the forthcoming Guidelines on Freedom of Expression (online and offline).
  • date: 2013-06-12T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20130612&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2013-06-13T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22940&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2013-06-13T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-274 title: T7-0274/2013 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the freedom of press and media in the world. Recalling the main principles and the role of the press and media, in particular in the digital age, Parliament underlines that, recently, some governments have been responsible for hampering freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation. It is, however, vital that the press and media can operate independently and free of pressure through political and financial means. Members are alarmed at the general downward trend in the grading of the press and media freedom environments in various countries both within and outside Europe. They emphasise that free, independent and pluralistic online and traditional media are one of the cornerstones of democracy and pluralism. They deplore the fact that journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity. In their view, the effects of impunity have an impact not only on the freedom of the press, but also on the daily work of journalists, as well creating a climate of fear and self-censorship. Parliament also believes that the EU should take a tougher stance towards countries that constantly allow such acts to go unpunished. Parliament stresses that indirect pressure on the press and the media can be brought by governments. It considers that in many countries the media rely heavily on government advertising , which can then become a tool to pressurise the media, and that licences or fiscal penalties can also be used to restrict the operation of critical media. Overall, Parliament considers that laws, statutory regulation, intimidation, fines and highly concentrated ownership by politicians or others with conflicting interests are all factors that can limit the freedom to acquire and access information and that can result in threats to freedom of expression. Moreover, it deplores the fact that the criminalisation of expression is on the rise and are aware of the use of defamation, blasphemy and libel laws, as well as legislation referring to ‘the degrading of the country’s image abroad’ or to ‘homosexual propaganda. It regrets that censorship fosters self-censorship . At the same time, Members consider that the trend of concentrated media ownership in large conglomerates to be a threat to media freedom and pluralism. Too often media are used as and/or are involved in traditional propaganda tools . They emphasise that public service media should be free and independent both from a financial and a political point of view. They encourage the development of ethical codes for journalists as well as for those involved in the management of media outlets, in order to ensure the full independence of journalists and media bodies. Digitisation : Parliament recognises the important role played by digital and online media platforms in the uprisings against dictatorial regimes in recent years, as well as the magnified reach and impact of the information spread by these new media. It is of the view that the digitisation of the press and media is adding new layers to the media landscape and facilitates everyone’s access to information . Parliament stresses the need for global interoperability and appropriate regulation to free up the full potential of IT infrastructures. It deplores all attempts to create various forms of ‘closed internet’ or to censor bloggers, as well as the fact that numerous technologies and services deployed in third countries to violate human rights through censorship of information, mass surveillance, monitoring, and tracing and tracking of citizens and their activities on (mobile) telephone networks and the internet originate in the EU. It is concerned over mass surveillance, mass censoring, and blocking and filtering tendencies affecting not only the media and the work of journalists and bloggers but also hindering the work of civil society in bringing about significant political, economic and social change. It calls on the Commission to take all necessary steps to stop this ‘ digital arms trade ’. Parliament stresses the fact that digital and (computer) data-driven platforms or services such as search engines are privately owned and require transparency so as to preserve the public value of information. It strongly condemns all attempts to use the internet or other online media platforms to promote terrorist activities . It urges the authorities to take a firm stance in this respect. EU policies and external actions : the resolution stresses that the EU should lead by example in order to ensure the safeguarding of freedom of the press and expression. To this end, the Union should not interfere with content but should, rather, support an enabling environment and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression globally. However, Members note with concern that, in recent years, some media, notably in the EU, have come under scrutiny themselves for unethical behaviour. Strategy : Parliament considers that the EU lacks a coherent strategic vision and benchmarks on the issue of press and media freedom. This is why it calls on the Commission, in particular DG DEVCO and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to improve their cooperation and coordination of programming, particularly by synergising their political and diplomatic work. Members also urge the Union to play a more significant role notably in the candidate countries, as well as in relation to its immediate southern and eastern neighbourhood. They call on the EU to adopt a strategy to ensure that it closely monitors and reacts to changes in legislation which restrict pluralism and freedom of the press in third countries. To this effect, existing external financial instruments, such as the EIDHR, or even association agreements with third countries need to be mobilised. Lastly, Parliament calls on the Commission to: make the fight against impunity one of its priorities in its programmes concerning freedom of expression and the media; adopt a Press and Media Freedom Strategy in the framework of EU foreign policy; incorporate the recommendations of this report in the forthcoming Guidelines on Freedom of Expression (online and offline).
  • date: 2013-06-13T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
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activities
  • date: 2011-05-12T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: IBRISAGIC Anna group: S&D name: JAAKONSAARI Liisa group: Verts/ALE name: KIIL-NIELSEN Nicole group: ECR name: TANNOCK Charles responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2012-05-30T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: SCHAAKE Marietje body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE
  • date: 2013-05-07T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: IBRISAGIC Anna group: S&D name: JAAKONSAARI Liisa group: Verts/ALE name: KIIL-NIELSEN Nicole group: ECR name: TANNOCK Charles responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2012-05-30T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: SCHAAKE Marietje body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-176&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0176/2013 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2013-06-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20130612&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2013-06-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22940&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-274 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0274/2013 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: IBRISAGIC Anna group: S&D name: JAAKONSAARI Liisa group: Verts/ALE name: KIIL-NIELSEN Nicole group: ECR name: TANNOCK Charles responsible: True committee: AFET date: 2012-05-30T00:00:00 committee_full: Foreign Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: SCHAAKE Marietje
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Development committee: DEVE
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/ title: Justice commissioner: REDING Viviane
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
AFET/7/05943
reference
2011/2081(INI)
title
Freedom of press and media in the world
legal_basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
Modified legal basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 150
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject