“The media in a democratic society: reconciling freedom of expression with the protection of human rights” – Luxembourg - 30 Sept. – 1st Oct. 2002 

Lydie Polfer: Government officials cannot dictate to the media information that suits them

[01/10/02] The ambition of the Council of Europe must be to carry on its efforts to assist in the transformation of the legislative frameworks, but also of normal human attitudes to freedom of expression and information, Lydie Polfer declared at the close of the Luxembourg conference on media freedom. The Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs pointed out that the new democracies very often possessed a more modern legislative apparatus than their elders, but the implementation of such legislation – owing to the legacy of an undemocratic past – was being only very gradually achieved. The older member states, on the other hand, should reform what were often outmoded legislative frameworks, she said.

Supporting the proposal of the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe to set up an urgent response procedure in the event of harassment or disappearances of media professionals, the Minister urged the three organisations concerned - the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the European Union - rapidly to study the feasibility of such a measure.