Exchange of views on legislative aspects of media freedom in the Western Balkans and Turkey:
EP Subcommittee on Human Rights
Lieu: European Parliament
End production: 19/06/2013 First transmission: 19/06/2013
MEPs from the subcommittee on Human Rights debated in the presence of experts and Parliamentarians from Western Balkans and Turkey, the legislative aspects of media freedom, the state of play and possible measures to be taken. Media freedom is one of the main preconditions for the fulfilment of political criteria for EU accession. The exchange of views aimed to contribute to the Speak up! 2 Conference, organised by DG Enlargement, European Commission, to be held on Thursday 20 June, and which will be dealing with media freedom in enlargement countries. Aspects of media freedom in Turkey have come into the limelight in recent weeks during the incipient phase of protests in Taksim Square.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shots of the European Parliament, Brussels
||SOUNDBITE (English) Gvozden FLEGO, PACE Rapporteur on Media Protection in Europe: "We are concentrated on violations and unfortunately in this chapter Russia is a champion. There are still unprocessed assassinations of journalists and there are imprisonment, there are prosecutions and in some countries there are also legal solutions, legal regulations which violate the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. In some countries there are excessively long detention based on anti-terrorism code which enables the government to proceed in such a way. Turkey is also mentioned very often in our reports because of very long and undeclared and unexplained detention."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Ingrid DELTENRE, Director General of the European Broadcasting Union: "Of course, nobody will deny that Greece has financial problems and nobody will claim that ERT - that's the public broadcaster - is the best of all public broadcasters. But the abrupt decision of two ministers to close down ERT actually done by the end of the same day, this is not going to save the government any money. It's actually quite contrary - it will cost them more money. Why? ERT was founded from the license fee by citizens, they pay 4.25 euro per month. ERT was generating a small surplus, the channel was not bankrupt and this is, we believe, these measures taken were without any debate in the parliament, any consensus about the role and the organisation of the future, the new organisation to be established. This, we think, demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the democratic debate, lack of respect for democratical culture, but also a lack of respect for the Article 10 of the Human Rights."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Dragan SEKULOVSKI, Executive Director of the Association of Journalists, fYROM: "Existing laws and bylaws that refer to the media community are generally in line with the constitution and the European standards. However, proper and non-selective implementation remains a challenge. There are cases that indicate a selective approach of the executive and court authorities that are also noted in the reports of the international institutions that monitor the media situation in the country."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Joost KORTE, Deputy Director-General, DG Enlargement, European Commission:"The more or less defining silence that rained in the mainstream media in Turkey during the first days of the riots. Of course, media freedom also implies greater responsibility for the journalists. It is not only on the side of the authorities that were needed, on the side of the journalists, on the media, we also need to improve discipline and responsibility. So what we would like to see in all the countries is the establishment of fully functional self regulatory bodies, or press councils, and the introduction of codes or professional ethics."
||SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Gülsün BILGEHAN, Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey: "There were a couple of brave TV channels which were broadcasting the events but later on these were sanctioned by the director general of broadcasting. In 2013, in six days in Turkey were consumed tear gas and pepper spray that has been consumed in the total of European Union countries. 63 cars, 8 dogs, more than 1000 birds died, 4 people were killed, more than 4000 people were wounded in these events."
||Cutaway shots with the audience of the debate (4 shots)