Juncker backs creation of UN Special Representative for Safety of Journalists

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed support for the creation of the position of a UN Special Representative for the Safety of Journalists at a joint press conference on Thursday with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

“We have proposed to our friend to appoint a Special Representative for the Safety of Journalists because it is a subject that worries us more and more in Europe and beyond,” Juncker said.

More than 130 media outlets, NGOs and labour unions throughout the world support the #ProtectJournalists campaign for a special representative that was launched by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

“As Europe is the continent where press freedom is guaranteed best, the European Commission’s support provides significant additional weight to a campaign already backed by dozens of UN member states,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

“As we have unfortunately seen in recent months, the dangers to journalists are growing in Europe, to the point that two have been murdered, in Malta and Slovakia.”

European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans voiced his support for the #ProtectJournalists campaign in a letter to RSF on 7 December.

He did so in response to an appeal by RSF to European governments and institutions to do more to protect journalists in the wake of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder in October.


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