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S&D event: Protecting journalists, NGOs and civil society against abusive lawsuits with the Anti-SLAPPs Directive, Wednesday 1 June, 2pm

Date

25 May 2022

More and more journalists, NGOs and activists in the EU are facing burdensome lawsuits as a result of public criticism and bringing issues of public interest to light. Democracy thrives on accountability and suffocates without scrutiny. The rising number of these so-called SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation) is a clear sign that EU action is needed. To prevent abuse and misuse of member states' justice systems by those seeking to escape public scrutiny, S&D MEPs have long called for a new "Anti-SLAPP" Directive in the EU.

On Wednesday 1 June, the S&D Group is organising a workshop to debate the strengths and shortcomings of the Commission’s draft  directive and recommendations to tackle abusive strategic lawsuits. Matthew Caruana Galizia, investigative journalist and director of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation in Malta, human rights lawyer Bea Bodrogi and attorney at law Vanja Jurić will join the workshop opened by S&D MEP Tiemo Wölken. Vice-president of the European Commission for values and transparency Vĕra Jourová, will join via video message.

Tiemo Wölken MEP was the co-rapporteur on the Parliament’s report on the undue use of SLAPPs. In responding to the Commission’s draft Anti-SLAPPs Directive, published in April, the MEP said:

“Courts cannot be a playground used by the rich and powerful to silence their critics. The rule of law, freedom of speech and freedom of association are all threatened and undermined as long as this type of harmful litigation continues in Europe. The prospect of financial hardship, as well as the psychological damage inflicted on victims of SLAPPs, leads to self-censorship that restricts the truth from being reported and damages democracy.”

The event will take place on Wednesday 1 June from 14:00 to 16:00 in room ASP 3G3 in the European Parliament in Brussels. Please register here to attend the event in the European Parliament. Registration is not required to follow the live streaming at  https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu.

Journalists are invited to attend the event and can contact Petra.vonWullerstorff@europarl.europa.eu in case of questions.

 

 

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