Brussels – 27th January, 2020. Protection International joined 26 other organisations—including Greenpeace and Reporters without Borders —in co-signing a letter to Vera Jourová, Vice-President of the EU Commission, which encourages the adoption of more encompassing anti-SLAPP legislation.
At a time when there is no anti-SLAPP legislation in force within any EU member state, it is now more important than ever to safeguard freedom of expression, the role advocacy, and the right to assembly in the European Union. The preparation of legislation to deter Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) is currently under discussion at the EU level; however, this new legislation must be crafted in such a way that all parties and individuals who have been affected by SLAPPs are given proper redress. Besides journalists and the media, SLAPPs are also used to target academia, trade unionists, activists, civil society organisations, and individual citizens, including human rights defenders. In essence, SLAPPs are used to silence individuals and organisations that play a watchdog role in holding those in positions of power accountable.
The letter aims to draw Vice-President Jourová’s attention, who is currently spearheading the drafting process, to the necessity and urgency of adopting a wider scope in order to cover all those affected by SLAPPs. Strong EU anti-SLAPP measures, including legislation and legal funds for victims, will help protect those who are most vulnerable to legal harassment and send a strong political message that the EU is ready to both stand up for its citizens and protect fundamental human rights.
To read the whole text of the letter on including all affected groups in anti-SLAPP legislation sent to Commissioner Jourová, please click here.