On May 25th, 2009 48 editors-in-chief and leading journalists from 19 countries adopted and signed the "European Charter on Freedom of the Press" in Hamburg.
In ten articles, the charter formulates principles for the freedom of the press from government interference - in particular for their right to safety from surveillance, electronic eavesdropping and searches of editorial departments and computers, and to unimpeded access for journalists and citizens to all domestic and foreign sources of information.
The goal is to assert the charter’s validity across Europe and to make its adoption a condition in EU accession negotiations. The charta was handed over to the European Commission in Brussels on June 9th 2009 and to the Council of Europe in Luxembourg on October 26th 2009.
Ideally, journalists all over Europe will be able to cite the charter in cases of conflict with the state or with state-controlled institutions, and to call on their international colleagues for help and support.