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Attacks and intimidation directed at journalists by the Government of the Community of Madrid, governed by the Spanish People’s Party

Question écrite de Mme Iratxe GARCÍA PÉREZ - Commission européenne

Subject: Attacks and intimidation directed at journalists by the Government of the Community of Madrid, governed by the Spanish People’s Party

This week, it was revealed that the Head of Cabinet of the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, made direct threats to a newspaper’s management: ‘We will crush you. You will have to close.’

He has also admitted to spreading unfounded rumours about two journalists on social media, slandering them, accusing them of criminal behaviour and identifying them by name and with their photographs. Such conduct is entirely illegal.

The Spanish Federation of Journalists’ Associations1 and the Madrid Press Association2, as well as international representative organisations such as Reporters Without Borders3, have strongly condemned the intimidation and attacks on the freedom of the press by senior officials of the Community of Madrid.

1. Does the European Commission consider that these attacks violate Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information?

2. Does the European Commission believe that these actions constitute an attack on the rule of law in Spain?








Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 2 mai 2024

Answer given by Mrs Jourova on behalf of the European Commission

(3 May 2024)

The Commission, within the remit of its competences, is committed to safeguarding pluralistic and independent media, which is central for any democracy and an essential part of the rule of law system.

According to Article 51 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (4), Member States must comply with the provisions of the Charter when they implement EU law.

In other instances, Member States’ authorities are bound by fundamental rights in their national legislation and in international agreements to which they are a party.

On 16 September 2021, the Commission adopted a recommendation (5) on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists, which calls on Member States inter alia to cooperate with online platforms in order to foster a digital environment that prevents the use of online services to attack journalists.

In March 2024, the EU legislature adopted the European Media Freedom Act (6), a regulation which regulates the provision of media services in the EU with safeguards to guarantee media freedom and pluralism. One of the objectives of that regulation is to protect journalists against economic and political interference.

As part of its annual Rule of Law Report, the Commission will assess developments pertaining to the press freedom and the safety of journalists and refers the Honourable Members to its 2023 country chapter on Spain (7).

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