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The EU and press freedom
“The European Union should…” Nearly every day this remark is on the lips of press freedom activists who blame the EU for not doing enough for press freedom. “The EU should call Hungary to order.” “The EU should slam Russia for its repression of the independent media.” “The EU should punish Ethiopia for jailing journalists and bloggers.” These expectations and, at times, exasperation are inevitable. The EU, with its 28 member states, describes itself as a democratic haven and the largest economy and trading group in the world. Brussels, home of the major EU institutions and host of the world’s third largest international press corps, has constantly proclaimed that its internal political order and foreign policy are based on human rights, rule of law, and democracy. So shouldn’t the EU be judged according to the yardstick by which it has chosen to measure others?