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25.05.2019

10 years European Charter on Freedom of the Press

by Lutz Kinkel

today is a special day, a symbolic day – in the middle of the elections for a new European Parliament (#Ivote4PressFreedom!), we celebrate the tenth anniversary of a document that is the ECPMF's guiding star: the European Charter on Freedom of the Press.

Lutz Kinkel, European Charter Freedom of the Press Photo: ECPMF

48 leading journalists from all over Europe adopted and signed the document on 25 May 2009. Two weeks later Uli Jörges, initiator of the Charter, handed it over to EU-Commissioner Vivianne Reding. By now, the Charter is translated in several European languages. You can read the full story and see some pictures of the decisive moments.
 
The document has lost not one bit of its actuality and political relevance. On the contrary – more than ever Europe's press freedom is in danger, the video of Austria's former Vice-Chancellor Strache is a shocking proof for that. Strache frankly admitted, who is his role model when it comes to media politics: Victor Orbán.
 
Today I will be at Gruner+Jahr in Hamburg, where the Charter was signed, to attend the Nannen-Prize, and hopefully meet some signatories there. A couple of weeks ago I asked Uli Jörges how he would like to celebrate the anniversary of the Charter. He said: Don't look back. But think about whether the Charter needs to be modified for the digital age.
 
We will do so. If you have any suggestions, you are very welcome to contribute.
 
Nonetheless, we salute this wonderful document and its initiators and supporters: happy birthday, European Charter on Freedom of the Press!
 
Kind regards,
 
Lutz Kinkel
Managing Director ECPMF



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