Following the passing of the resolution on EU strategic communications aimed at countering so-called "propaganda" on November 23, Sputnik News Agency and Radio has called on several European and American organisations that support media freedom to take measures to prevent its effects, which are believed to be a threat to freedom of the press in Europe. The agency has outlined its aims in an official letter, signed by its Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan on November 23, which was sent to the relevant bodies. The international news agency addressed entities, such as the United Nations, UNESCO, and Reporters Without Borders, to seek support for freedom of the press.
Notably, only a minority of MEPs (44 per cent) actually voted in favor of the resolution with most of those that did coming from the conservative or Christian democrat groups. Meanwhile, most MEPs from the liberal or socialist groups chose to either abstain or voted against the proposition. Also, the total number of abstentions was unusually high (208) at decision time.
Commenting on the resolution, IFJ President, Philippe Leruth, said: "In my opinion, those media should have been given a chance to defend themselves in front of the European Parliament against such an accusation, it seems that opportunity wasn't offered to them… European Parliament as well as the International and the European Federation of Journalists [is] attached to freedom of expression: freedom of expression is based on the principle that facts are sacred and the comment is free. Even though the comment may not please us, this principle should always prevail."
Sputnik (sputniknews.com) is a news agency and radio network with multimedia news hubs in dozens of countries. Sputnik broadcasts through its websites in over 30 languages, as well as on analogue and digital radio, mobile apps, and social media. Sputnik newswires, available by subscription, 24/7 in English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.