Press freedom is an indispensable component of the democratic criteria on which EU membership is based. However, there continues to be a wide disparity in the conditions under which journalists perform their work across different EU Member States. There are variations and possible failures in implementing satisfactory basic working conditions to ensure the effective functioning of the journalistic profession. This may pose a threat to press freedom and, more generally, to media independence, pluralism and democracy in the EU.
The pilot project "Strengthening Journalism in Europe: Tools, Networking, Training" provides a map of the different approaches to the journalists' status in the EU.