Publication Date: December 2023
Research and Editorial Team: European Commission

Since 2019, the EU has faced a series of major geopolitical, economic, climate and health crises that have tested the resilience of its democratic setting and values. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has exacerbated the risk of foreign interference aimed at undermining EU democratic institutions, putting pressure on the media, spreading disinformation and reducing the space for civil society.

This Communication, which introduces the Defence of Democracy Package, sheds light on the key legislation and political initiatives that the Commission has promoted over the last 5 years to safeguard democracy, strengthen the rule of law and protect fundamental rights and freedoms in line with the European Democracy Action Plan. 

In the sector of media freedom and media pluralism, these initiatives include: the recommendations to improve the safety of journalists (2021), the anti-SLAPP directive and the European Media Freedom Act, on which EU institutions have recently reached a provisional political agreement. Besides these policy initiatives, the Commission recalls its commitment to supporting news media organisation through the Creative Europe Programme, through which it has promoted activities to promote and monitor media pluralism and independence, including a Media Freedom Rapid Response Mechanism. 

Tags: European policies and legislation Media freedom Rule of Law

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