Mission Report: Stemming the Tide of Greek Media Freedom Decline

Today the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), together with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), launch the report of a recent press freedom fact-finding mission to Greece.

 

Media freedom in Greece has experienced a clear period of deterioration in the last few years. In 2022 and 2023, the country ranked as the worst for media freedom in the European Union in the World Press Freedom Index. International press freedom groups have increasingly been warning about the most serious factors contributing to this decline, from the murder of a reporter and threats to journalists to spyware scandal and underlying issues regarding media pluralism and independent journalism. This erosion of media freedoms and the increasing attention of domestic and international media organisations sparked concern in Brussels and beyond and led to a number of initiatives from the Greek government led by the ruling New Democracy party to address the issue.

 

In this context, the partner organisations of the MFRR consortium, joined by Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, coordinated a mission to Greece in the wake of the 2023 election victory of New Democracy to take stock of the latest developments and assess the current state of media freedom and independent journalism.

 

This report provides a detailed analysis of the most serious challenges facing media freedom in Greece, exploring the four major systemic themes identified by the delegation. It also provides an assessment of the impact of different measures taken by the government in the last few years to try and address these issues, and offers the first international assessment of the work of the government’s Task Force for the safety of journalists, which was established in 2022 after a recommendation by the European Commission. The report also provides multiple detailed recommendations in each of the chapters to both the Greek government and journalists and media workers for steps that can be taken to achieve progress and further stem the tide of media freedom decline in the country.

This mission report was coordinated by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and candidate countries.

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