Thousands have protested in front of Poland’s parliament against new media restrictions in the country. The protests started on Friday and continued today after the opposition said that ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party illegally passed the budget for next year by moving the vote outside of the main chamber of parliament and by leaving media out from recording the vote.
No Democracy without Free Media
For years in EA we’ve been fighting for the Freedom of Press: in 2014 we run a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) on media freedom, collecting 200,000 signatures across the EU to demand better European policy to protect freedom of information together thousands of activists, organisations, and media from throughout Europe in a common transnational campaign. The campaign aimed to impact European decision-making, and it boosted the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) designed to identify potential risks to media pluralism in Member States.
The recent protests in Poland give evidences of the need of protecting media rights and pluralism in Europe and in the EU, that in 1950 declared the principle of free expression as a fundamental right. Beyond far right forces and authoritarianism, beyond censorship and oppression, people in Poland and in many other countries, are demanding to be the ones taking the decisions affecting their lives. People protesting in Poland represent the Europe we want; they represent the importance of joining forces, of taking the streets and the squares without fear, defending democracy, freedom and our basic rights as citizens, that sometimes, are taken for granted. Friends in Poland, we strongly support your decisive struggle for restoring democracy and media freedom in your country. This is the Europe we want, this is the Europe we recognise as worth fighting for. #ThisIsEurope