The EU Has Competences to Deal with Media Freedom

Interview with Michal Šimečka MEP

11 March 2021

Wojciech Przybylski


On the day of the plenary session in the European Parliament, Visegrad Insight connected with Michal Šimečka, dubbed Mr Rule of Law by the media, and a Slovakia representative to discuss the European Parliament’s strategy on defending press freedom.

Michal Šimečka is a Slovak member of the European Parliament since 2019. Previously, he worked as a lecturer, written media journalist and foreign policy adviser. In February 2020, the members of Renew Europe elected Šimečka as Vice President of the liberal fraction.

Visegrad Insight: Today, as we speak, the European Parliament will discuss the deteriorating state of media freedom in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. You are a member of the LIBE committee that has been working on this topic. Tell us what it does in this context.

Michal Šimečka: The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) is a committee tasked with protecting the fundamental values of the European Union, which includes press freedom. It deals with civil liberties and has several instruments in this area. Because of its competences and composition, LIBE is the most vocal and consistent voice for these issues, continually putting pressure on the Commission.


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Wojciech Przybylski


Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.


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