Signature collection for the European Citizen’s Initiative for Media Pluralism has closed with an important result that testified the success of the initiative. The campaign, coordinated throughout Europe by European Alternatives and Alliance International de Journalists, collected 204,812 signatures across the European Union.
The campaign requested that the European Commission adopts measures of support to effectively defend media pluralism against concentration of ownership, the independence of monitoring organisms and the adoption of a European directive on anti-trust and conflict of interest.
The collection of signatures began at the end of August 2013, the first signatory being Martin Schulz. In Bulgaria, a country that symbolises the deterioration of press freedom and an area where the campaign was focused, signature collection for the Media Initiative surpassed the quorum set by the European Commission for the country. Italy is the country which collected most signatures above all, surpassing the 25,000 mark.
“We started a good fight” declared Lorenzo Marsili, director of European Alternatives and spokesperson of European Alternatives. “We tackled a theme which many wanted gone from the political agenda, we activated organisations, citizens and particularly youth in all of Europe and created continuing awareness campaigns online. We are very satisfied with our work.” He adds, “Thanks to these actions, we have signs of overture from the European Commission.. From today we are continuing with our commitment to stop the erosion of one of the pillars of European democracy, and bring the fight to the new Parliament and the new Juncker Commission.”
The Campaign: Country by Country (sneak peak)
We are busy working on an end-of-campaign book bringing together the best of one year of fighting for better media across Europe! Here is a first taster of what we’ve been up to.
In Cyprus our campaigners have been active at events and on the streets to collect heaps and heaps of paper signatures.
In England we campaigned against monopolisation and culture of mutual interest between the press, senior politicians and police in the UK – See more here: the culture of mutual interests between the press and senior politicians, and for fair and balanced representations in the media.
In Germany we called for solidarity, and printed multiple issues of the ‘Freie Medien Kurier’, a special newspaper spread at demonstrations in support of press freedom in Bulgaria and Hungary.
In Hungary, a country where press freedom is under continued pressure, we received great creative output from a poetry slam: Sajtószabadság slam!
We were invited to the International Day for Press Freedom on May 3rd, and a debate organised by ProDemos. To raise attention we started a signature selfie campaign.
In Italy, besides many other campaigns, we made a bit of fun of Berlusconi’s conviction and social service: #Affidateloanoi! Let him work for us!
In Ljubljana the citizen’s initiative was really about citizens as our campaigners picked up a camera and asked people on the street what they think about press freedom. More here.