Contact: Angela Mills Wade, European Publishers Council on Tel: +44 1865 310 732 or Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265
Wednesday 22 February 2006
The European Publishers Council (EPC) strongly welcomed EU Justice,Freedom and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini’s statement this week that the Commission has neither the legal powers nor the political will to limit freedom of expression.
Speaking at this week’s International Federation of Journalists Conference on the recent furore over the Danish cartoons, the Commissioner’s words have reassured publishers following concern that the Commission was considering a new European code of conduct for the media.The Commission also supports the EPC’s view that existing codes of conduct at national level have worked well and do not need to be complemented by any supranational code.
EPC President Francisco Pinto Balsemão said: "Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of democracy and we are delighted and relieved to see the European Commission not considering any measures against journalists and publishers. Indeed, on the contrary, both the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Frattini have made positive statements in support of the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press."
In the light of the cartoon crisis, and concerns over how the media cover terrorism and terrorists, however, the Commission is planning to organise a conference sometime this year, bringing together representatives of the media, governments and religious groups.
For further information, please contact EPC Executive Director Angela Mills-Wade on Tel: +44 1865 310 732 or Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265.