Commissioner Ylva Johansson to broach media freedom during Slovenia visit

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johannson, 24 January 2020. [EPA-EFE/DANIEL KASAP]

Slovenia has been in the international spotlight for months over the government’s attitude to media and journalists and the issue is expected to be high on the agenda when European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson starts a two-day visit on Thursday.

The country “should not underestimate the risk to its international reputation when it comes to media freedom and pluralism,” Johansson has told the STA in advance of the visit, which is ostensibly aimed at discussing preparations for Slovenia’s upcoming Council presidency. These two principles “are a fundamental prerequisite for democracy”.

While media freedom falls under the purview of Vera Jourova, European Commission vice-president for values and transparency, Johansson said there was reason to raise “severe concerns” about harassment of journalists and verbal attacks on them.

“The European Commission puts great emphasis on this issue as any pressure exerted on media freedom or pluralism or even attacks against them are also an attack on democracy,” she said. 

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