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IRIS 2017-8:1/5

Council of Europe: European Broadcasting Union becomes partner organisation of the Council of Europe Platform to protect journalists

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Bojana Kostić

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

On 30 June 2017, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) signed a partnership agreement and became the eleventh Partner Organisation to join the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists. The Platform, established in April 2015, allows the compilation of alerts on serious concerns about media freedom and the safety of journalists in Council of Europe member States by certain Partner Organisations (see IRIS 2017-2/2). Since the launching of the Platform, Partner Organisations have issued 306 alerts from 35 countries, including 82 concerning physical attacks, 70 alerts on the detention and imprisonment of journalists, as well as 36 cases of harassment or intimidation and 104 acts that have a chilling effect on media freedoms. These alerts are reported by the Partner Organisations and subsequently sent to the authorities of the country concerned, as well as to the Council of Europe’s competent institutions. This process is followed by dialogue on the issue with the national authorities. Out of all reported cases, around half (51%) have resulted in some kind of follow-up action by national states or the Council of Europe institutions. The actions undertaken, including the outcome of the dialogue, are also available on the Platform. The Platform has also been relied upon in recent Recommendations and Resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on journalist safety and media freedom in Europe (see for example IRIS 2017-3/3). In this regard, the significance of the EBU becoming a Partner Organisation was highlighted by the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, who stated that, as the leading network of public broadcasters, working for almost 70 years for and with broadcasters, the EBU would strengthen the Council of Europe’s efforts to protect media freedom.

Council of Europe, European Broadcasting Union joins Council of Europe platform to protect journalists, Ref. DC 099(2017), 30 June 2017 EN