The FINANCIAL -- On 3 May, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini released a declaration to mark the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.
The EU believes that free press is “vital for having a democracy that works” and will further support “independent, quality and ethical journalism”, despite “increasing attacks” on freedom of expression around the world, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
“Free, diverse and independent media are indispensable to promoting and protecting democracy worldwide. A free press and freedom of expression are among the very same foundations of democracy, contribute to stable, inclusive, and resilient societies and can help defuse tensions and contain conflicts,” she said.
“The EU supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes ensuring universal access to information and protection of freedom of expression.”
According to Mogherini, independent media are “the basis of a participatory democracy” and “a tool to make governments accountable for their actions”. In the declaration, she condemns the “threats and violations against journalists” and calls on all EU Member States to protect freedom of expression and the safety of journalists. The EU is also integrating respect for freedom of expression into all of its policies.
The EU is notably funding specific projects in third countries to enhance the quality of journalism, access to public information and freedom of expression. Since June 2015, the EU has supported at least 45 endangered Human Rights Defenders that promote the right of freedom of expression under its small grant scheme.