Bulgarian Prime Minister undertakes to draw on RSF initiatives to combat disinformation
After meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov in Brussels on 26 October, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) hails his willingness and commitment to strengthen media freedom and the right to information. The organisation will remain vigilant about the realisation of these goals in Bulgaria.
During the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of a European Council meeting in Brussels, Prime Minister Denkov responded positively when RSF urged him to take steps to improve press freedom and the citizens’ right to reliable news and information in Bulgaria.
The Prime minister expressed particular concern about disinformation and the multiple pressures weighing on journalists and the media in his country, and indicated that his government was ready to draw on RSF's experience in order to support the necessary reforms at the national and European levels.
“I want to express my government’s commitment to a free, independent and pluralist press and to citizens' right to information,” Prime Minister Denkov said to RSF. “We will draw on the experience and initiatives of Reporters Without Borders to promote reliable media and to combat disinformation in Bulgaria, within the European Union and at the international level.”
The Bulgarian Prime Minister and RSF agreed to cooperate on guaranteeing press freedom and the right to information by drawing on RSF’s experience and initiatives. RSF welcomed the support for the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) – an international mechanism rewarding ethical journalistic practices – that Bulgaria expressed at the second Ministerial Summit on Information and Democracy in September 2022 and at the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in March 2023.
“We welcome Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov’s willingness to carry out the reforms needed to guarantee press freedom and the right to reliable information. We will remain vigilant in a difficult context, and available to contribute to concrete results.
Denkov’s government, which took office in June, claims that fighting corruption and carrying out judicial reforms are its main priorities, which raises hopes of improvements in the situation in Bulgaria.
In August, RSF welcomed the Bulgarian parliament’s adoption of penal code amendments providing journalists with greater protection against arbitrary lawsuits. Despite this progress, the government needs to go further and to implement RSF’s other recommendations. RSF will carefully monitor implementation of the commitment given by the Prime Minister and his government.
Bulgaria is ranked 71st out of 180 countries in RSF's 2023 World Press Freedom Index.