Estonia becomes co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition

Estonia becomes co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition

From July, Estonia takes over the co-chairmanship of the Media Freedom Coalition from Canada, sharing the position with the Netherlands who became co-chair last year.

Independent media is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy and today, 85 percent of the global population is living in countries where the freedom of speech is deteriorating.

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said Estonia had first-hand experience of living under authoritarian rule, without freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

“Journalists have a crucial role in every society because media freedom is vital for how democracy functions and how informed decisions are made. We know how much authoritarian rulers want to silence free media,” Tsahkna said.

He added that Estonia would not be where it is today without free media and the role it plays in the development of a society.

Tsahkna said Estonia helped independent media across the world and continued to issue humanitarian visas to journalists and human rights activists from Russia and Belarus.

“Following accreditation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we can issue 35 residency permits a year to journalists from across the world who are at risk,” the minister said.

The Media Freedom Coalition was established in July 2019 in London and it has 50 countries as members. The chairmanship of the coalition is rotating, with the Netherlands taking over the co-chairmanship from the United Kingdom in 2022.

In February 2022, Estonia organised the annual conference and foreign ministers meeting of the Media Freedom Coalition in Tallinn.


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