European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, in cooperation with Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Commissioner Vĕra Jourová, will be hosting the 2016 Colloquium on Fundamental Rights on 17 and 18 November 2016 in Brussels.
Key national and EU policy makers in the European Union, media representatives, journalists, companies, representatives of civil society organisations, international organisations and academics will reflect together, from a fundamental rights perspective, on the multiple links between a free and pluralistic media space and democracy. They will explore the challenges and opportunities arising in the converged media environment, where for example opinion-shaping is increasingly done on internet platforms and the social media.
The wide range of topics for discussion will include protecting and promoting media freedom and independence from political or commercial pressures; empowering journalists and protecting them from threats, physical violence and hate speech; the role of the media and ethical journalism in promoting fundamental rights; and how the media environment influences democratic societies.
Additional information can also be found on the Colloquium’s website.
In order to prepare the discussions and gather input from a diversity of actors, a public consultation was launched. Input is still welcome until 14 July 2016. Contributions will be summarised and published. They will feed the Colloquium discussions and provide a frame for an informed and effective debate: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/fundamental-rights/opinion/160519_en.htm.