Concern about press freedom in EU member states
The EU Commission has called on the governments in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia to stop undermining press and media freedom. There had been "further worrying developments" in these three countries in recent months, Vera Jourova, the European Commission's Vice President for Values and Transparency, told the EU Parliament on Wednesday. Commentators from Poland and Slovenia agree.
Truth under attack
The country is in danger of becoming an autocracy, warns Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza:
“In Poland, but also in other countries, we are witnessing a creeping coup d'état. The rule of law is being transformed into a one-party state. The Constitutional Court, the Public Prosecutor's Office, the police and the intelligence agencies are all at the beck and call of the PiS. The public service media have become a machinery of shameless propaganda, comparable to those in Putin's Russia or Erdoğan's Turkey. Independent media are treated as the enemy and attacked with the kind hatred we know from the speeches of former US President Donald Trump. We are treated like an enemy because we are independent and have the courage to write the truth.”
This could set a precedent
Primorske novice also warns:
“The sabotage of the media by the government - like the sabotage of the scientific or legal subsystem - is dangerous in the long run. Once the government has eroded the professional media, it becomes very difficult for society to rebuild them. This erosion is taking place in Slovenia right now. We see it with the public radio and television broadcaster RTV, the news agency STA and the 'balanced' (state) online portal Siol. ... That's why it's right to talk about it in Brussels, even if some complain that dirty laundry is being washed abroad. Because nowhere is it written that the example will not be followed somewhere and the dismantling of this democratic cornerstone will become the new European norm.”