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Press freedom: Jourova (EU Commission), “strengthen efforts to protect journalists”

“The tragic assassination of investigative journalist Giorgos Karaivaz has reminded us, once again, that we must strengthen our efforts in the protection of journalists”. EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, said this as she presented the new consultation by the European Commission on the safety of journalists ahead of its recommendation on the subject. “We are currently working on recommendations directed to Member States, having sought feedback on measures such as hotlines, trainings and awareness-raising among the police and judiciary”, Jourova said. Until 20 May, stakeholders will be able to express their views on the EU portal. The recommendation, due by the end of the year, “will address physical and online security issues, with a particular focus on gender and minority-based attacks” on journalists. The Commission recalls that the initiative is part of a series of broader actions aimed at addressing “threats to journalists and strengthening media freedom and pluralism in the EU”. The Commission has also organised a structured dialogue within the framework of the first European News Media Forum for the start of the consultation. “Those who provide us with information must also benefit from the highest standards of protection in their work, both online and offline”, said EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. “It is essential to ensure the digital safety and independence of journalists in our efforts to protect our values, democracies and rule of law. Our task is to design a European standard for the protection of journalists”.

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