European Federation of Journalists

Poland: MFRR to visit Warsaw for press freedom mission

Credits: Image by Komarov Egor - Unsplash

Partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will travel to Warsaw on 11-13 September 2023 to conduct an international press freedom mission ahead of the country’s upcoming general election on 15 October.

The MFRR mission will be joined by representatives of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Free Press Unlimited (FPU). Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will join the mission on behalf of the EFJ.

The delegation will assess the current state of play for media freedom and pluralism and identify the biggest challenges facing independent journalism in the context of the election. The visit to Warsaw follows a previous online fact-finding mission conducted by the MFRR in 2020.

During the mission, representatives will meet with leading journalists, editors, media experts, civil society groups, political figures and state representatives. The mission will seek to hear a broad range of views and perspectives from across the political spectrum.

Key themes to be assessed during the visit include independent media regulation, threats to media pluralism, particularly at the regional and local level, public service broadcasting, media capture, and legal threats and Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs).

The delegation will hold a press conference in central Warsaw on the morning of Wednesday September 13 during which representatives will share initial findings of the mission. Details to follow.

A report with key conclusions and recommendations for the winner of the October 2023 election on how to improve the situation for media freedom will follow shortly after.

The MFRR monitors violations of press and media freedom in the EU Member States and candidate countries and responds with practical and legal support and advocacy. Since the project’s start in March 2020, it has conducted multiple similar media freedom missions.

This statement was produced as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and candidate countries.