The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament champions the protection of media freedom and media pluralism. Our MEPs, Yana Toom and Ramona Strugariu helped to shape the Anti-SLAPP report that the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted today.
We ask the European Commission for strong mechanisms to protect and strengthen the freedom of speech, the freedom of the media and enhance the protection of journalists by the inclusion of strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPPs) on the domestic level.
MEP Yana TOOM (Eesti Keskerakond, Estonia), Renew Europe representative in the JURI Committee, shadow rapporteur on the report, says:
"SLAPPs are only one method to silence actors through litigation. Governments and others are creative and will find other ways, in some countries they already have. It is important to combat all forms of abuse of the judicial system intended to undermine media freedom, whether journalists are on the complainant or defendant side of the case".
Renew Europe insists that the future Anti-SLAPPS Directive must provide a permanent EU fund for investigative journalists and also a rapid reaction mechanism for journalists in danger.
MEP Ramona STRUGARIU (USR, Romania), Renew Europe representative in the LIBE Committee, shadow rapporteur on the report, adds:
"SLAPPs are highly abusive practices that need to end. They are an EU-wide problem and we need a strong EU solution to them. It is time for legislative proposals that protect those engaging in public participation both in cross border or domestic cases. With this report, we provide the Commission with all the elements it needs to bring forward a strong package against SLAPPs. The wide majority that stands behind this report shows our strong support for effective legally binding measures. It's time to go beyond recommendations!"