RSF receives visit from European Commission vice-president Vera Jourova, urges EU to make 2022 “year of right to information”
Receiving a visit from Vera Jourova, the European Commission vice-president for values and transparency on 7 february, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on Europe to elevate safeguards for the right to information to the highest level in 2022.
This year will see the finalisation of the European Union’s Digital Services Act and the start of work by the Commission on the European Media Freedom Act. These two unprecedented initiatives are essential at time of chaos in the digital information space, weakened media outlets and journalists increasingly vulnerable in Europe.
During her visit to RSF headquarters in Paris, Jourova met with Christophe Deloire, RSF’s secretary-general and chair of the Forum on Information and Democracy. The same day, she also participated in the “Building Europe’s digital sovereignty” conference that the French government is hosting in Paris as part of its six-month EU presidency.
RSF stressed the importance of the proposed European Media Freedom Act and the need for it to respond to the vital goal of safeguarding the right to information – including freedom of the press and the safety of journalists – within the European Union.
RSF also emphasised the need to protect democracies’ public spaces and elaborated on its proposal for a reciprocity mechanism allowing to condition the opening on democratic information spaces on the basis on universal principles.
The Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI), which RSF developed in order to combat the unfair competition that reliable news providers suffer as a result of the information chaos and disinformation, was also discussed at today’s meeting. RSF insisted on the importance of taking every opportunity for promoting this mechanism for amplifying trustworthy news outlets online.
“2022 is a decisive year for European Union safeguards for a real right to information,” Deloire said. “We hail the action being taken by the Commission and we urge it to demonstrate the utmost ambition at a time when press freedom and the right to information are being undermined by multipronged attacks within the European Union itself. I hail Vera Jourova’s commitment to defend and promote these values.”
“Attacks and threats against the media cannot go on any longer. It is about our democracies. More than ever the Commission has made press freedom a priority. We are preparing the Media Freedom Act by consulting widely with the media industry and press freedom organisations. In this context, I had a dense and constructive discussion today at RSF headquarters with Christophe Deloire and his team”Jourova said.