Netherlands / Europe & Central Asia

  

Balancing Act

Adding forces or shirking responsibilities? The EU and intergovernmental bodies When it comes to defending press freedom, the EU should be able to count on the support of other European institutions that share its values. The collaboration and interaction between the EU and these bodies should offer greater protection to journalists, but complex working arrangements…

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Balancing Act

The rule of law mechanism The Hungarian crisis in which Prime Minister Viktor Orbán brought in a succession of media laws and regulations that have crippled the independent press showed that most national governments and a significant number of MEPs underestimated Orbán’s threat to the EU as an institution and a community of values. They…

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Balancing Act

Hungary’s challenge to the EU When Viktor Orbán’s center-right conservative party Fidesz won parliamentary elections in 2010, few expected that Budapest would pose one of the most crucial challenges to the EU. “Orbán’s experiment is the first attempt to deconstruct the liberal system inside the EU. It is also the first time the EU has…

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Balancing Act

EU as media regulator The 1,000-strong EU press corps does not regularly cover EU press freedom policies, except in exceptional cases when, for instance, the Hungarian prime minister raucously rebuts his adversaries in the European Parliament. “EU correspondents cover the big picture, the big stories which are rocking the EU and its member states, like…

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Balancing Act

Access to information In August 2004, Belgian police raided the house and office of Hans-Martin Tillack, a Brussels-based reporter for German magazine Stern, in what his lawyer claimed was an attempt to reveal the identity of a whistleblower. This raid, although exceptional, is emblematic of challenges facing EU correspondents, who say they face hurdles in…

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Balancing Act

How Turkey backtracked on accession responsibilities Press freedom was not a prominent issue during discussions on Turkey becoming a candidate country in 2005. In part, this was because reform was in the air in Ankara: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) adopted a number of reforms that appeared to demonstrate its commitment…

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Balancing Act

CPJ’s Recommendations The Committee to Protect Journalists offers the following recommendations to the EU as an institution and EU member states.

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Balancing Act

The European Union is struggling to balance its ideals as a global leader in press freedom with its member states’ criminal defamation and blasphemy laws and counterterrorism measures. Despite an outward commitment to press freedom, in many cases the EU lacks a robust mechanism to hold member states accountable when they renege on their commitments.…

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Balancing Act

StoryMap: Press freedom in EU candidate countries Press freedom is a key factor for countries working toward EU membership. Currently five countries—Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey— and two potential candidates—Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo— are applying to become member states. This StoryMap explores the challenges journalists in those countries have faced in the past five years….

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Supporters of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party raise flares as they celebrate polls results in Thessaloniki, Greece, on May 6, 2012. (Reuters/Grigoris Siamidis)

Journalists grapple with increasing power of European extremists

Athens, May 6, 2012. Journalists attending Golden Dawn’s triumphal election night news conference are ordered to stand up when the group’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, enters the room. “Rise up! Rise up! Show your respect!” barks the master of ceremonies, an agitated black-clad, bald-headed toughie. The journalists who refuse the injunction are asked to leave the…

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