News Media Europe

European press publishers call on European Commission to stay strong on implementation of Recommendations

Press releases , September 16, 2021


-Brussels, 16 September 2021-

Today, the European Commission unveiled its Recommendation for the Safety of Journalists in Europe. Although a non-binding instrument, News Media Europe welcomes this important step forward in the protection of news professionals and their duty to inform. Our association had voiced its recommendations during the roadmap consultation process.

Member States must report about the implementation of the set of recommendations within the next 18 months.

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director at News Media Europe, declared: “Threats to media professionals are spreading through Europe like a dark stain. Now that the Recommendations are out, we ask the European Commission not to let go of anything. Change must happen, in the criminal systems, in the implementation of the rule of law principles, and in the way society perceives news media professionals. Now Member States need to step up to protect journalists and journalism, vital to the functioning of democracy”. 

We think that even non-legislative actions can take us far with the right level of ambition and accountability. The Recommendations follow up must be a serious one, involving all interested parties including press publishers. News Media Europe welcomes the Commission’s decision to prolong the work of the News Media Forum to continue channelling feedback from the industry, exchange best practices and monitor application progress in the Member States.

While we agree with the European Commission’s assessment about the deteriorating working conditions of journalists, emphasis must be put on:

  • Involving online platforms in the fight against online threats
  • Making news media professionals in general “trusted flaggers” online and “critical workers” in times of crisis
  • Making public funding easier for journalists and newsrooms to apply
  • Mapping out effective initiatives, public and private, to foster best practices, for instance in the promotion of female and minority media professionals
  • Launching an EU campaign for the recognition of the democratic value of the role of the media

News Media Europe also appreciates clear and direct consideration for the media in President von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech yesterday. The plenary debate about media freedom and the rule of law in Poland also sends a crucial signal that a lot remains to be done to achieve press freedom everywhere in Europe. We stand by the EU Institutions in this endeavour, notably as part of the News Media Forum and of the expert group on anti-SLAPP measures and in the preparation of the Media Freedom Act.


Wout van Wijk (Executive Director):

Aurore Raoux (EU Policy Manager):