The European Union (EU) warned Wednesday that freedom of expression and freedom of the press are threatened around the world and called on all states to condemn violence against journalists, to take action to improve the safety of journalists with particular attention to women journalists.
“Attacks against media and journalists are attacks against democracy, against the freedom of all of us. We pay tribute to all journalists in Europe and worldwide who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession,” said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, in a Declaration on behalf of the 28-member EU to mark World Press Freedom Day which is celebrated on 3 May.
“Press freedom plays a crucial role in promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability. Independent journalism is vital to hold states accountable and to monitor democratic processes. Free, diverse and independent media, both online and offline, are pillars of a pluralistic and open society,” she noted.
The EU will continue funding projects in third countries enhancing quality of journalism, access to public information and freedom of expression, said the EU foreign policy chief.
“We will consistently condemn violence against journalists and 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 will take concrete steps to prevent and respond to attacks against journalists and bloggers,” she added.