Every year 03 May is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day, where we evaluate its status around the globe, defend it from attacks to its independence and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the service of their profession.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991.
In Europe, too, it is a date to encourage and develop initiatives to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.
In an analysis piece accompanying the 2017 World Press Freedom index, the NGO Reporters Without Borders warned that "media freedom's erosion is particularly visible in the European democracies. Even the Nordic top performers that have traditionally headed the Index have dropped a few places – three in the case of the Netherlands and two in the case of Finland, which has lost its number one spot for the first time in six years."
For us, the European Greens, 03 May has with time become much more: it’s a reminder to national governments and European Institutions of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and also a day to support media that are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom inside and outside of the EU.
Moreover, by fighting for high-quality and well-researched information on matters of public interest and by acting as watchdog, the European Greens fight for more and more independent media as we are well aware they are the very basis of participatory democracy and one of the main tools to make governments accountable for their actions.
There are no free people without free media. We should remember this every day.