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Incoming EU VP Promises Journalists Better Protection

Vowing to fulfill a promise to the family of murdered Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the European Commission’s designated new overseer of the rule of law promised journalists would be protected better.
Věra Jourová from the Czech Republic told European Parliament lawmakers vetting the proposed Cabinet of incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that, “These promises are very strong commitments. I am happy to do more to keep these promises,” Jourová told MEPs, reported The Shift. In the past years, Jourova has served as the EU’s Justice Commissioner, but will soon take over a new portfolio. Last year, she had told the site that whoever ordered the killings of Galizia and Slovakian investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, who had also been investigating corruption in his home country, must be caught and punished. So far, they haven’t.
During a visit to Malta, Jourová visited Caruana Galizia’s grave and said she’s determined to stop the growing attacks on journalists for doing their jobs and would also use her new position in the EU administration to do so.
According to Jourova, legal aid should be given to journalists in cases of legal harassment and abuse of litigation. She also suggested using EU funds for this. “We definitely must do more” on media freedom and pluralism, she said.
She furthermore noted that the EU, which has been essentially powerless to do anything to protect journalists other than issue press releases, doesn’t have any other tools to defend their work as they’ve increasingly come under attack by governments and politicians in their countries – without any sanctions from the bloc.
“We should continue funding independent projects monitoring media pluralism, map media freedom, and support journalists whose safety is under threat,” Jourová added without explaining how that would be done and stopping short of recommending some punishment for governments and politicians of member states who harass reporters.

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