World Press Freedom Day 2016

Commissioner Oettinger stresses importance of protecting and defending media freedom and pluralism

Today, European Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, gave a the keynote speech at the Difference Day at the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day,  honoring those who make a difference in protecting and defending media freedom and pluralism.

The Commissioner underlined that even if it is mainly for Member States themselves to ensure media freedom and pluralism within their respective countries, the Commission is  following with great interest developments in the Member States and will not hesitate to act as a watchdog for media freedom and pluralism, when EU law is at stake. As Commissioner in charge of media freedom and pluralism, he outlined the different policy areas in which the Commission is taking action in order to protect those values.

He underlined his strong believe that copyright is also of paramount importance when talking about how to guarantee press freedom and how to encourage quality journalism, including online. The Commission is therefore also asking about the impact that a possible change in EU law to grant publishers a new neighbouring right would have on them and on the whole publishing value chain.

In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly declared May 3rd to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Libre de Bruxelles and Erasmushogeschool Brussel, BOZAR, Evens Foundation & iMinds, together with ENPA and other partners (EMMA, EPC, WAN, EBU, ACT, MPAA, European Commission, UNESCO, European Parliament..) were celebrating  May 3rd as Difference Day.

Celebrating freedom of the press and freedom of expression means honouring people and organisations that make a difference in protecting and promoting these values.

For the full speech of Commissioner Oettinger  click here.


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 14 national associations across 14 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.