VP Borrell and Suica: The Threats and Violence Against Journalists and Political Polarisation Have Increased During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic was a test for the European Union citizens’ confidence in the democratic institutions designed to serve them, while the threats and violence against journalists and political polarisation have increased, – Vice-Presidents (VPs) of the Commission for a Stronger Europe in the World Josep Borrell and Dubravka Šuica stated in their joint statement regarding the International Day of Democracy.

The VPs stressed that the European Union must defend the ability of free and pluralistic media to provide timely access to reliable and accurate information, and fight disinformation.

“Whether you care about climate change, jobs, the economy, or racial and social justice, your voice will only be heard and your vote will only count if you live in a democracy. 

However, European citizens’ trust in democracy cannot and should not ever be taken for granted. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested citizens’ confidence in the democratic institutions designed to serve them, while the threats and violence against journalists and political polarisation have increased.

In these challenging times, the EU will remain a steadfast and outspoken supporter of democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide and within the EU. Collective efforts are needed, together with a new perspective on supporting democracy that delivers for citizens are needed. This work starts at home.

Promoting free and fair elections, ensuring rule of law and media freedom are building blocks to create a space where every citizen feels free and empowered. More than ever, we must defend the ability of free and pluralistic media to provide timely access to reliable and accurate information, and fight disinformation. We will continue working to make our own democracies more resilient and innovative, benefitting from the opportunities offered by new technologies. We will create ever more possibilities to engage citizens through a range of deliberative democracy approaches. The European Democracy Action Plan sets out measures to promote free and fair elections, strengthen media freedom and pluralism, and counter disinformation,” – reads the joint statement by Vice-Presidents (VPs) of the Commission for a Stronger Europe in the World Josep Borrell and Dubravka Šuica.

Please, visit the link for the full statement.