Joint Statement ahead of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November 2016

BRUSSELS, 31 October 2016 – Ahead of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on 2 November 2016, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Vice-President Andrus Ansip and Commissioners Günther H. Oettinger, Johannes Hahn and Věra Jourová said:

"We call on all States, media companies, media professionals and all concerned parties to join efforts to end impunity for crimes against journalists. We attach the highest priority to the safety of journalists, bloggers and other media actors. We consistently 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 we take concrete steps to prevent and respond to attacks against journalists and bloggers. The European Union also ensures that respect for freedom of expression is integrated in all our policies and development programmes.

The continued acts of intimidation, pressure and violence against journalists that take place across the world have to end.

Free press and media pluralism are essential to a free, pluralistic and open society. Attacks against media and journalists are attacks against democracy. The recent adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of a resolution on the safety of journalists is a very positive step forward to ensure the safety of members of the media.

We call on all States to implement the UN resolution and other international commitments and take active steps to prevent and respond to violence against journalists and ensure that both state and non-state perpetrators and instigators of such violence are brought to justice.

To strengthen engagement for the promotion of media freedom and pluralism and the protection of journalists in the European Union, the Commission is organising its second Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights on the topic of "Media Pluralism and Democracy" on 17-18 November. The Colloquium will bring together national and EU policy-makers, international organisations, NGOs, and media actors around the same table to discuss concrete and workable actions to improve the fundamental rights situation in the European Union, including on the protection of journalists."