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Press Freedom in the European Union

what causes can be attributed to the large differences in press freedom in the countries of the European Union and what steps does the EU overall take to improve freedom within its borders?

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Press Freedom in the European Union

what causes can be attributed to the large differences in press freedom in the countries of the European Union and what steps does the EU overall take to improve freedom within its borders?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

This report is the result of a research to press freedom in the European Union. In recent years, several EU-countries have experienced a dramatic fall in the ratings on press freedom. On the other side, EU-member Finland is the highest rated country in the world when it comes to press freedom. The aim of this research is to find out how differences in legislation are to blame for the large differences in ratings concerning press freedom and how the EU is tackling this problem.
Press freedom is one of the fundamental and universal human rights and therefore included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is signed by all UN-members. Press freedom can be defined as the freedom for journalists to do their work without interference from the government, organizations and individuals and without negative side-effects like extortion, intimidation and other physical or mental threats. Many different organizations engage with the subject of press freedom and each year on May 3rd World Press Freedom Day is organized to stress its importance.
In the EU, press freedom is guaranteed through the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU). It once only counted as a set of norms, but since it was included in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty it has the same legal binding as treaty. Apart from the charter, no other EU-legislation exists to protect press freedom.
In four selected EU-countries, representing the highest and lowest rated countries in the Press Freedom Index, it is researched and compared how national legislation concerning press freedom differs. In Finland, the highest rated country, press freedom is guaranteed through the constitution and the Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media. Based on the act, different laws are adopted to further guarantee press freedom. Moreover, it gives legal binding to the self-regulating, independent Council of Mass Media. Year after year this results in a stable press freedom rating in Finland.
This is different in the three lowest rated EU-countries of the Press Freedom Index; Italy, Greece and Hungary. All experience either lack of legislation to protect press freedom or have adopted legislation that is harmful and disrespectful to press freedom and all have no media council or have no media council that is independent from the government and/or miss the qualities to be a healthy, self-regulating body.
Especially after the press freedom problems in Hungary, the EU recognizes the problem EU-countries are facing with press freedom. On behalf of Euro-commissioner Neelie Kroes, the High Level Media Group has researched the matter and presented in January 2013 the final report with recommendations on how the EU could or should tackle the issues with press freedom. The report has received high criticism from different sides though Neelie Kroes has called the report the perfect basis for future discussions on press freedom.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
OpleidingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
AfdelingAcademie voor European Studies & Communication
Jaar2013
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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