L-R: Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media; Credit: MAEE

On Thursday 27 January 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, received Teresa Ribeiro, Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), at Bâtiment Mansfeld (which houses the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs) in Luxembourg-Ville for an interview followed by a working lunch.

This marked Teresa Ribeiro's first visit to Luxembourg since taking office as OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in December 2020.

News related to media freedom in OSCE countries dominated discussions between Minister Asselborn and Representative Ribeiro. The latter has recently taken a position in the context of the respective situations in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The two parties also referred to the situation in several European Union (EU) countries, as well as several recent cases of journalists being murdered in various OSCE countries.

Minister Asselborn and Representative Ribeiro emphasised that the current problems in the area of ​​media freedom and the protection of journalists are not only related to physical threats, but also online threats which are on the rise. Moreover, threats against journalists do not only emanate from the authorities, but can now also emanate from the public. Female journalists are particularly targeted by such threats. The OSCE Media Freedom Representative lamented that this fact pushes many women to give up careers in journalism.

Minister Asselborn recalled that the protection of journalists and media freedom is a priority and that Luxembourg supports Representative Ribeiro's OSCE mandate. In particular, Luxembourg financially supports the OSCE "Safety of Female Journalists Online" (SOFJO) project.

The OSCE Media Freedom Representative's team aims to help participating States put in place robust legislation to protect journalists and media freedom.

Minister Asselborn concluded this meeting by indicating that he will soon be going to Tallinn in Estonia to take part in the Global Conference for Media Freedom, where Representative Ribeiro will also be present.