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Protection of the safety of journalists and of media freedom in Europe

Origin – Assembly debate on 29 January 2015 (7th and 8th Sittings) (see Doc. 13664, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Gvozden Srećko Flego). Text adopted by the Assembly on 29 January 2015 (8th Sitting).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2035 (2015) on the protection of the safety of journalists and of media freedom in Europe and invites the Committee of Ministers to pursue further determined action on this issue, in particular by intensifying its standard-setting and co-operation activities as expressed in the Committee of Ministers Declaration of 30 April 2014 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors.
2. Recalling its Recommendation 1897 (2010) on respect for media freedom, the Assembly welcomes the decision by the Committee of Ministers of 19 November 2014 to establish an online Freedom of Expression Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. This initiative is highly important for creating synergies between the various Council of Europe bodies dealing with media freedom, and for providing a means of closer co-operation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in this field. It will also give member States the opportunity to react to information about alleged attacks on media freedom.
3. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

3.1. promote the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity beyond 2014 and step up Council of Europe action in this area, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163;
3.2. develop training programmes for police and law-enforcement authorities in member States regarding the protection of journalists and media freedom, and offer targeted assistance in this area;
3.3. pay particular attention to the full and timely implementation by member States of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights which deal with serious violations of media freedom and increase targeted co-operation and assistance activities in this field by developing a parliamentary dimension, in particular with regard to member States with recurring and systemic problems;
3.4. review the implementation by member States of the Committee of Ministers declarations and recommendations in the media field and consider whether the Council of Europe’s legal standards should be updated;
3.5. continue to invite Assembly rapporteurs on media freedom to thematic debates and to its rapporteur groups dealing with media freedom;
3.6. co-operate more closely with NGOs and the media in order to enhance the capacity of the Council of Europe to evaluate and react to serious violations of media freedom.

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