Insights European Commission calls on Member States to improve journalists’ safety across the EU


The EU Commission has published a Recommendation to strengthen the safety of journalists and other media professionals.

The Commission says that journalists have been facing an increasing number of attacks over the past years, including assassinations in the most tragic cases. The COVID-19 crisis has made their work even more difficult, with lower incomes, especially for freelancers, and limited access to venues.

To reverse this trend, the Commission has set out measures that it wants Member States to take to improve the safety of journalists, both offline and online. The Recommendation calls for the creation of independent national support services, including helplines, legal advice, psychological support and shelters for journalists and media professionals facing threats. It also calls for increased protection of journalists during demonstrations, greater online safety and particular support for female journalists.

The Commission will hold discussions on implementation of the Recommendation with Member States and stakeholders in relevant forums, in particular within the European News Media Forum. The Commission will also undertake evaluations of the progress achieved and continue to analyse the safety of journalists in all the Member States as part of the annual Rule of Law Report. Member States will be required to report to the Commission on the measures taken to implement the Recommendation 18 months after its adoption. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the Recommendation, click here.