Quote of the week by S&D Group President, Iratxe García, on media freedom in both Poland and Hungary
“This was a sad week for media freedom in Europe as the Polish PiS government started to rush through a new tax targeted at hitting independent media. The PiS is clearly copying from Orban’s autocratic playbook that seeks to undermine free media. Media freedom in both Poland and Hungary will be a priority issue at the next plenary session, but we also expect the European Commission to do its job, as guardians of our values and the European treaties, to respond to yet another outrageous attack on democracy.”
This week the S&D Group gave its full support to the #MediaBezWyboru (Media without choice) protest, where Polish TV channels and radio stations fell silent and online sites and newspapers ran black front pages to take a stand against a tax on free media.
Save the Date! The events in Poland this week are sadly not an isolated incident. That is why the S&D Group is organising an online debate Media and artistic freedom under attack on Monday 22 February, 14h00 to 16h00.
The event will focus on the threats and attacks on media and cultural enterprises in various EU countries, and on the steps needed to tackle this type of undemocratic interference. Representatives of the media and culture organisations will participate alongside S&D Group leader Iratxe García, Petra Kammerevert MEP (S&D Coordinator for Education and Culture), Elena Yoncheva MEP, Domènec Ruiz Devesa MEP and EP Vice President Klara Dobrev. You can follow updates to the event’s programme here.
As EU economy and finance ministers meet on 16 February, S&D MEPs will be monitoring discussions and decisions on the list of tax havens. The S&D Group is campaigning for an improved European blacklist of tax havens with sanctions for companies and individuals. You can read more about the S&D’s work on Tax justice here.