EU-Ukraine civil society denounces continued impunity for crimes against journalists in Ukraine

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The FINANCIAL — The 4th meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (CSP) was held in Brussels on 22 May.

The meeting aimed to assess progress in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The discussions were focused on environmental protection, media freedom and the first year of the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, according to EU Neighbours East Info.

The Platform declared its satisfaction with the significant improvements to the media environment in Ukraine. However, the Platform regretted that impunity for crimes committed against journalists in Ukraine still persists. It also talked of undue political interference on content and violence, harassment and other abuse of journalists. It recommended that journalist organisations and overseeing bodies increase the ethical standards for media and invest in the competences of both journalists and managers of media outlets. In particular, this should involve competence exchanges and on-the-job training for media outlets and institutions of EU Member States.

Among future challenges, the Civil Society Platform mentioned the lack of a strategic vision for reforming mass media and public broadcasting, the lack of a common, unified position among responsible authorities, and the absence of effective control over public authorities on information disclosure. Journalistic investigations do not lead to punishment for misuse, but rather to charges against journalists.

The Platform adopted its joint declaration, which will be forwarded to the EU-Ukraine Association Council, the Association Committee, the Parliamentary Association Committee and other relevant bodies both in Ukraine and the EU.

The EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform, established in April 2015, is one of the joint bodies established under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and submit their recommendations to the relevant authorities.

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