The FINANCIAL -- EU officials have praised freedom of expression to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November 2016.
In an official statement, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioners Günther H. Oettinger, Johannes Hahn and Věra Jourová called for the defence of journalists from violence, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
"We call on all States, media companies, media professionals and all concerned parties to join efforts to end impunity for crimes against journalists. We attach the highest priority to the safety of journalists, bloggers and other media actors,’’ the statement said.
“We consistently oppose – in bilateral contacts with third countries as well as in multilateral and regional fora – any legislation, regulation or political pressure that limits freedom of expression and we take concrete steps to prevent and respond to attacks against journalists and bloggers. The European Union also ensures that respect for freedom of expression is integrated in all our policies and development programmes”.
The EU iterated that “the continued acts of intimidation, pressure and violence against journalists that take place across the world have to end” because “attacks against media and journalists are attacks against democracy”.
To strengthen engagement for the promotion of media freedom and pluralism and the protection of journalists in the European Union, the Commission is organising its second Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights on the topic of "Media Pluralism and Democracy" on 17-18 November. The Colloquium will bring together national and EU policy-makers, international organisations, NGOs, and media actors together to discuss concrete and workable actions to improve the fundamental rights situation in the European Union, including on the protection of journalists.