The Parliamentary Assembly recalls its Resolution 1535 (2007) and Recommendation 1783 (2007) on threats to the lives and freedom of expression of journalists as well as its Resolution 1438 (2005) and Recommendation 1702 (2005) on freedom of the press and the working conditions of journalists in conflict zones.
Freedom of expression and information through the media is a necessary requirement of any democratic society. An attack on media freedom is also an attack on democracy, which cannot be tolerated by the member states of the Council of Europe.
The Assembly notes with great regret that, despite these resolutions and recommendations, media freedom in Europe suffers, for instance, from the facts that:
The Assembly welcomes in this respect the work of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media and the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression as well as the work of many non-governmental organisations including the International Federation of Journalists (Brussels), the International Press Institute (Vienna), the International News Safety Institute (Brussels), Reporters Without Borders (Paris), the Association of European Journalists (Brussels), the Glasnost Defence Foundation (Moscow) and Article 19 (London).
The Assembly appreciates the interest expressed by the OSCE Representative and the UN Special Rapporteur as well as by many of the non-governmental organisations to work closely together with the Assembly, in particular on the most serious violations of media freedom where a European initiative for national parliamentary action would be of added value.
Therefore, the Assembly resolves to co-operate with these international partners in a structured follow-up to such violations of media freedom.