From Nov. 17 to 18, the European Commission hosted its second Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights. Held in Brussels, this year’s Colloquium focused on “Media Pluralism and Democracy”.

Speakers at the event included Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Commissioner Vera Jourová, who lead discussions with a wide range of experts on the key role in democratic society of a free and pluralist media, and in particular digital media.

IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi joined the Colloquium as an expert speaker for Session II.a: Protecting Media Freedom and Independence from Political Pressures. This session examined the main threats to the independence of media regulators and public service media. Other topics discussed at the Colloquium included:

• how to protect and promote media freedom and independence from state intervention and from undue political or commercial pressures;
• how to empower journalists and protect them from threats of physical violence or hate speech;
• the role of media and ethical journalism in promoting fundamental rights; and
• how a pluralistic media environment can foster political debate on crucial issues for democratic societies.