Wednesday 20 August 2014

Currently browsing 'Media Freedom'

Freedom of the press is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials. While such freedom mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.


Kosovo et Union Européenne : des progrès, mais tout n’est pas réglé

Posted by on 29/07/14

La Commission européenne a salué le 24 juillet dernier les progrès du Kosovo dans la mise en œuvre des exigences de la feuille de route sur la libéralisation des visas. Pour elle le Kossovo a bien progressé, même si de nouveaux efforts s’imposent pour permettre aux ressortissants de ce pays de se déplacer sans visa.

Dans son second rapport, la Commission relève que le Kosovo a pris des mesures importantes pour mettre en œuvre sa législation dans tous les domaines couverts par la feuille de route pour la libéralisation du régime des visas : « la réadmission semble à présent fonctionnelle ; le système de réintégration est opérationnel ; la gestion des frontières, les migrations, l’asile et le système de justice pénale kosovar ont bénéficié de réformes importants » constate la Commission. Toutefois de nouvelles mesures restent nécessaires pour satisfaire pleinement aux exigences de la feuille de route sur les visas. Le rapport invite le Kosovo à favoriser la réintégration durable des personnes rapatriées, à améliorer la précision de son état civil, à déployer son système d’information sur les visas ; à renforcer l’indépendance du pouvoir judiciaire et à obtenir des résultats crédibles en matière de décisions de justice dans les affaires de criminalité organisée et de corruption.

Un tel programme n’est pas une mince affaire.

La Commission a également évalué les effets potentiels de la libéralisation du régime des visas sur la sécurité et les flux migratoires et a conclu que la suppression des visas obligatoires pour les citoyens du Kosovo comportait certains risques pour l’UE en matière de sécurité et de migration. La Commission constate en effet depuis 2012 une augmentation sensible de la traite des êtres humains en provenance du Kosovo et le rapport annuel de l’EASO pour 2014 indique également une augmentation considérable du nombre du nombre de demandes d’asiles déposées dans les Etats membres de l’UE par des citoyens Kosovars. La Commission recommande au Kosovo de prendre des mesures supplémentaires afin d’atténuer les risques de la libéralisation du régime des visas en matière de sécurité et de migration. La Commission se veut optimiste et ne veut décourager personne, mais constatons qu’il y a encore beaucoup de pain sur la planche ! Remarquons cependant que cela ne fait que seulement deux ans que les uns et les autres se sont engagés dans ces travaux dignes des travaux de Hercule : nettoyer les écuries d’Augias.

Pour en savoir plus

     – . Deuxième rapport de la Commission européenne (EN) (FR) new/news/news/docs/second_commission_assessment_fr.pdf

     -. Document de travail des services de la Commission accompagnant le rapport (EN)


Classé dans:Actualités, BREVES

Getting rid of ECHR: Good for Cameron, bad for the rest of Europe

Posted by on 20/07/14

As it is well known, David Cameron is ready to do everything in order to stay in Downing Street after next year’s general election. With his latest proposition, however, he sets new standards in terms of unreason and is directly threating Europe as value-based community at its very core.

Mr Cameron and his party intend to sideline the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by enabling the House of Commons to veto its verdicts. In this way the United Kingdom is basically riding itself from the judical surpremacy of the Strasbourg court, since such a mechanism is barly compatible with the European Convention of Human Rights.

Inducing the Tories to such an unprecented move are the general backlashes of the court’s verdict onto British legislation. More immediately, however, the British government seeks to be able to expel convicted foreigners from its country.

Mr Cameron’s plan is widely criticised – even within his own party. Last week, two major opponents in his ranks, the liberal-minded Attorney General Dominic Grieve and fromer Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, lost their jobs in the Cabinet due to a comprehensive reshuffle by the Prime Minister. Although Downing Street is neglecting any link between their replacements and its ECHR plans, it can hardly be sold as an unhappy coincidence that his strongest and vocal opponents ,of all people, suddenly find themselves out of their jobs. According to reports, the party’s convention in October should clear the tracks for the endeavor.

It is the latest display of unreason that Mr Cameron hopes would help secure his re-election. And it, again, comes at a very high price.

The European Court of Human Rights has been established in the early 1950s as a supranational court, that monitors the compliance of the European Convention of Human Rights and imposes sanctions in case of violations. It was founded on the idea that the reading of human rights should not be subjected to the political arbitrariness in every single European country, but should follow common standards and subjected to the jurisdiction of an independent supranational body.

And that is exactly what the court has done ever since. In this month alone, the ECHR has passed its judgement on the controversial imprisonment of reporters in Turkey, on keeping defendants in cages during court proceedings in Russia and on the marriage ban for transsexuals in Finland.

47 European states have ratified the respective convention and thus subjected themselves to the jurisdiction of the ECHR. If the United Kingdom were to leave, as the Prime Minister obviously intends, it would join an exquisit club with Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship. Furthermore, observers on both sides of the Channel consider the recognition of the ECHR a requirement for EU membership. Britain’s sidelining could thus lead to its exit from the European Union which notoriously is not a frightening scenario among the Conservatives.

If Europe today is legitimatised to present itself as a champion of human rights, it is solely due to the European Convention of Human Rights and the Strasbourg court that guarantees for its compliance.

The European Union, on the other hand, is almost powerless with regard to the adherence of human rights. Yes, there is the Charter for Fundamental Rights that proclaims the values and freedoms of the Union and its citizens. But neither is the Charter legally binding for national legislation nor has each member state sign up to it. Poland and the UK have opted out. For countries like Hungary or Romania, it is does not make for a proper instrument to curb undemocratic developments.

For years, European politicians and jurists have been discussing legislation to create a legally binding instrument out of the Charte. Until now, they have not been able to come up with a tangible and feasible way to do so. Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the European Commission, announced in his speech before the European Parliament that he intends to appoint a Commissioner of Fundamental Rights in his Commission. How such a Commissioner could do anything to improve the situation, has yet to be seen.

Today, the ECHR remains the sole guarantor for human rights in Europe. If the European Union by itself is not able to contribute to that task, it should at least support the ECHR at the very utmost. Consequently, there must be an unambiguous response to David Cameron’s intentions – if not for the sake of Britian’s future in Europe, then at least in order to avoid such intentions from catching on in other member states. Otherwise there is serious concern for human rights in Europe get subjected to political arbitrariness of single countries and for the idea of Europe as a community based on humanitarian values to remain nothing but a rhetoricial figure.

This peace first appeared on on July 19th (in German). Follow me on Twitter @brnshnwd

BBC is worth saving

Posted by on 17/07/14

Despite its failings, the UK state broadcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation, is worth saving, argues Whitehouse Consultancy Chairman, Chris Whitehouse, as he warns that the future of its funding arrangements are in jeopardy.

Read Chris’s full article here.

The Whitehouse Consultancy is one of Europe’s leading public affairs and communications agencies.

Free press is essential to democracy

Posted by on 10/07/14

Whitehouse Consultancy Chairman, Chris Whitehouse, discusses the the implications for the United Kingdom’s media industry of the conviction for phone hacking of Andy Coulson, former media advisor to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his latest article for The Universe magazine. He argues strongly in defence of a free press, but criticises state broadcaster the BBC for bias,

To read Chris’s article, please click here.

The Whitehouse Consultancy is one of Europe’s leading public affairs and communications agencies.

UK state broadcaster, BBC, under threat

Posted by on 07/07/14

Support for public funding of the UK’s state broadcaster, the BBC, is under threat, according to the results of an opinion poll commissioned and published by The Whitehouse Consultancy.

Read the results and analysis here.

The Whitehouse Consultancy is one of Europe’s leading public affairs and communications agencies.


The new constitution and fragile constitutional process in Turkey

Posted by on 19/06/14
By Gülistan Gürbey There is a broad consensus in Turkish society and politics for a new constitution but this work is de facto ended because of differences between the parties regarding main issues such traditionally ideological basics of state, type of government, minority rights or the independence of the judiciary. Without a new and civil constitution, Turkey will remain as a blocked democracy.


Posted by on 09/06/14

In europe@s, we gave in his day the welcome to Presseurop (2009) and were sorry about his closing (2013). Nevertheless, last May 20 we were receiving an encouraging news: the putting in VoxEurop’s march, a project that tries to give continuity and, at the same time, to innovate on the need of an European way of information. For all this, we speak today with Sergio Cebrián, Publisher in Spanish and the publishing director of VoxEurop. He asks. Can you speak to us about the similarities and differences between these two projects?

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Using gmail is like using asbestos: cheap, convenient but with very high risks

Posted by on 20/05/14
This was just one of many tweets recorded during the 4th Data Harvest+ festival last weekend. Almost 200 journalists and developers/coders gather from 27 countries to exchange best practices and experiences over 2.5 days. It was inspiring to have over 70 workshops to choose from and consequently impossible to cover everything but the organisers,, [...]

‘EU culture eats strategy for breakfast’

Posted by on 15/05/14
By Julian Oliver In a keynote speech given to the fourth Data Harvest conference organised by, Emily O’Reilly, the recently installed EU Ombudsman, explained how the main EU institutions have been obliged to adopt Open Access practices in order to bring citizens inside the governance tent. But changing their strategy on the issue is a long-term project, she said: “EU culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Europe 3.0

Posted by on 12/05/14

It has just published ” Europe 3.0. 90 looks from Spain to the European Union ” and we want to speak today with Michael Ángel Benedicto, coordinator of this work together with Eugenio Hernández.

He asks. Speak to us on the origin and the preparations of this publication

Response. Eugenio Hernández and I started a few months ago with the Association Ideas and the project Debates Europa’s Coffee, a series of seminars and debates in order to bring Europe over to the citizens accompanied of a website and a strong presence in the social networks and in the mass media. For it we possess the help of the European Commission and of the Federal Advice of the European Movement in Spain. The idea was a book did with the presentations of this debate but we bet for a project more ambitious that we have culminated…

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Das Europa in TV

Posted by on 10/05/14

Wer gestern heftige Kontroversen erwartet hatte, der dürfte sich ziemlich gelangweilt haben. Das erste TV-Duell zwischen den beiden Spitzenkandidaten der europäischen Sozialisten und der Europäischen Volkspartei in Deutschland verlief eher gepflegt verhalten. Verbale Raufereien zwischen Martin Schulz und Jean Claude Juncker – Fehlanzeige!

Stattdessen gab es für die Zuschauer Altbekanntes, aber eben auch viel Übereinstimmung: weniger Bürokratie und Regulierung, mehr Transparenz und Bürgernähe. Das waren die zentralen wie konsensfähigen Botschaften beider – allenfalls im Auftreten und Stil gab es dann doch erhebliche Unterschiede.

Schulz wirkte deutlich frischer, engagierter, aber auch aggressiver. Er präsentierte sich als Bilderbuch-Sozialdemokrat, der bisweilen mit reichlich Pathos gegen Spekulanten, Jugendarbeitslosigkeit und die rechten Populisten wetterte. Juncker dagegen als früherer Ministerpräsident von Luxemburg pflegte das staatsmännische Auftreten – und war dabei dennoch für manche Überraschung gut…

Wer also dieses eigentümliche wie komplizierte Europa etwas besser verstehen wollte, der hatte dazu gestern eine gute Gelegenheit. Auch wenn gerade der Sozialdemokrat Schulz der Versuchung manchmal nicht widerstehen konnte, so zu tun, als könne er als nächster Kommissionspräsident in der EU den Takt vorgeben. Keine Frage, die Kommission spielt im europäischen Konzert eine herausragende Rolle, gerade bei der europäischen Gesetzgebung. Doch die maßgebliche Entscheidungsgewalt liegt in vielen Politikfeldern noch immer bei den Mitgliedstaaten und damit bei den Staats- und Regierungschefs. Etwa in der Sicherheits-, Asyl-, Steuer- oder Sozialpolitik. Aber auch bei der Antwort auf die Frage, wer denn nun eigentlich der neue Kommissionspräsident werden soll.

Doch die Staats- und Regierungschefs sollten der Versuchung dringend widerstehen, trotz der neuen Mitspracherechte des EU-Parlaments die Entscheidung erneut unter sich auszumachen. Natürlich, der Wahlkampf mit Spitzenkandidaten ist ein Experiment und notorische Europaskeptiker werden sich davon kaum überzeugen lassen. Doch Juncker und Schulz haben diesen Wahlen nicht nur ein Gesicht gegeben; sie stehen für Inhalte, über die die Bürger jetzt zumindest mitentscheiden können. Es geht also um demokratische Prozesse, auf die diese EU dringend angewiesen ist. Auch deshalb war das Rededuell gestern von herausragender Bedeutung.

Jordi Vaquer: Putin’s stance may induce others to warm toward Europe

Posted by on 27/03/14

“Many proponents of traditional values across Europe have started feeling uneasy about finding themselves in Putin’s camp ideologically. In Lithuania, for example, the Christian Democrats abstained from voting, thereby blocking a proposed law against ‘gay propaganda’ similar to the one introduced in Russia, while the Catholic hierarchy swapped its usual nationalist stance for an enthusiastic pro-European statement.
Facing a cowardly Europe while the US is focusing more on the Pacific, Putin has found it easy to win the geopolitical game. But by positioning himself as the ultimate defender of traditional values, he risks discrediting a reactionary trend in central and Eastern Europe which had seemed unstoppable. Thus he may, unwillingly, be strengthening the very democracy which he holds in such contempt.”
– Jordi Vaquer, in the Spanish daily El Pais, 24 March 2014.

In Spanish:

“ … En el resto de Europa, muchos defensores de los valores tradicionales han empezado a sentirse incómodos al verse en el mismo bando que Putin. En Lituania, por ejemplo, los democristianos impidieron con su abstención una legislación contra la propaganda gay de reminiscencias putinistas y la jerarquía católica ha trocado su habitual tono nacionalista por una entusiasta declaración pro Europa.

Ante una UE pusilánime y unos Estados Unidos girados hacia el Pacífico, a Putin le resulta fácil ganar la partida geopolítica. Pero, apostando por el conservadurismo esencialista, Putin puede desprestigiar en muchos lugares del centro y del este de Europa un impulso reaccionario que parecía imparable. Y así, sin quererlo, reforzar la democracia a la que tanto menosprecia.”
– Jordi Vaquer, ‘Putin y los valores tradictionales – El presidente ruso puede desprestigiar un impulso reaccionario que parecía imparable en Europa’, El Pais, 24 Marzo 2014.


The new law of the internet

Posted by on 03/03/14
On February 2014, The Turkish Parliament enacted new legislation amending Law No..5651 titled “Regulation of the Publications on the Internet and Combating crimes Committed through these Publications”. It will come into force when countersigned by the President of the Turkish Republic who, by the way, [...]

Youth media can counteract politically corrupt media

Posted by on 17/02/14

Haris Dedovic, Picture credits: e-Society.Mk: Youth and Media Conference
Interview by: Stefan Alievikj
Edited by: Ana Alibegova

Karike (The Links) is a youth magazine in production of a team of young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina and read and focused on young people in particular. It goes in print for six years already, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language, and all the work regarding this youth magazine has grown as a firm example of a good practice for media led by youth. The magazine work so far is all done through volunteering, thus this amazing team behind Karike promotes volunteerism in the same time. As our interviewee for this week on Mladiinfo we have our friend Haris Dedovic, editor-in-chief of this youth magazine. Here we go!

M!: How does the Karike story begins? When was the first number published and what was the main motivation behind, what goals you have set at the very beginning?

Haris: The story of Karike begins with the story of ONAuBiH (Youth Press Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and its beginnings. It was the first project of our Association as a direct media product. The first edition was published back in 2007. The motivation and the goals, at the beginning were to have the place where every young person in Bosnia and Herzegovina can address her/his problem, without censorship of any kind and without any journalistic experience. Now, it’s the same goal, but with some additional improvements and upgrades. Today, we want Karike to be that place, but we also want it to be the place where young people that work on the magazine will learn and gain their first experiences on ethical and professional reporting. Also, we improved in content sense. Now we don’t only address the problems, but also provide the relevant information that youth in BiH can’t read in mainstream media.

M!:  Karike is mainly distributed in print. Can it be accessed on-line?

Haris: Karike can be found online, but in the form of PDF magazine at this webpage. Also, articles from Karike are being published on many news portals in the country. We are starting regional cooperation with online media at the moment, too. But, yes, that is the truth, Karike are periodical magazine which has its rules of reporting, analysis, editing and will not go online, except maybe in some extreme circumstances.

Trolls in Bulgaria, cleanup time?

Posted by on 15/02/14

The internet community in Bulgaria tells me that tons of internet posts are being erased, in an attempt to defuse publications exposing major manipulation efforts of the public opinion by the company Leadway Media Solutions with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) being the client. [more]
(Trolls are people hired by PR companies to post laudatory comments for the client, or to blackmouth the client’s rivals. Troll business is big business in Bulgaria) But the internet community is mobilized and has made tons of screenshots which are likely to embarrass BSP even further.
Before I conclude this short blogpost, I would like to say that I’m ashamed of BSP, for whom I have voted in the past.
For the progressive-minded millions of Europeans, politics is not lying-cheating. Sergei Stanishev, leader of BSP and President of the Party of European Socialists, needs to step down from both posts. Fast.