EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline
“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the media, an informed, active and engaged citizenry is impossible.”
–EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline
Freedom of expression and the role of media as platforms for expression represent one of the most important pillars of democracy, and the work of Media4Democracy is placed within the broad context of EU democracy support.
Our mission is to support the EU Delegations broad and coherent implementation of the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression and to help design and implement of appropriate near- and long-term actions, including development actions.
The EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline, adopted in 2014, provide broad policy and practical guidance for EU Delegations worldwide.
The EU explain the international human rights standards on freedom of opinion and expression and provide political and operational guidance to the officials and staff of EU Institutions and the EU Member States for their work in third countries and elsewhere.
The EU Guidelines also provide officials and staff with practical guidance on how to contribute to preventing potential violations of freedom of opinion and expression, how to analyse cases that come to their attention and how to react effectively when violations occur. They also outline how and in which strictly prescribed circumstances freedom of opinion and expression can be legitimately limited.
Six priority areas of action
The EU Guidelines provide strategic, political and operational guidance in six priority areas of action:
- Combating violence and threats to exercise of Freedom of Expression and impunity for such crimes
- Promoting laws and practices that protect Freedom of Expression
- Promoting Media Freedom and Pluralism; Discouraging interference with impartial or critical reporting
- Promoting and respecting Human Rights in cyberspace and ICTs
- Promoting Best Practices by Companies
- Promoting Legal Amendments and Practices to strengthen Data Protection and Privacy