The European Parliament has launched a journalism prize in tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia (pictured), a Maltese investigative journalist murdered in 2017.
The Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism, launched on 16 October 2020, the third anniversary of her death, will reward outstanding journalism reflecting EU values.
"The Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize will recognize the essential role that journalists play in preserving our democracies and serve as a reminder to citizens of the importance of a free press. This prize is designed to help journalists in the vital and often dangerous work they do and show that the European Parliament supports investigative journalists," said Parliament Vice President Heidi Hautala.
Prize money of €20,000
The €20,000 annual prize will be awarded as of October 2021 to journalists or teams of journalists based in the European Union. Candidates and the eventual laureate will be chosen by an independent panel.
Who was Daphne Caruana Galizia?
Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist, blogger and anti-corruption activist who reported extensively on corruption, money laundering, organised crime, sale of citizenship and the Maltese government’s links to the Panama Papers. Following harassment and threats, she was murdered in a car bomb explosion on 16 October 2017.
The outcry over the authorities’ handling of her murder investigation ultimately prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Critical of failings in the investigation, in December 2019, MEPs called on the European Commission to take action.
Published on 28 April, the report Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists from the Council of Europe lists 201 serious violations of media freedom in 2020. This figure marks a 40% increase from 2019 and is the highest figure recorded since the platform was established in 2014. A record number of alerts concerned physical assault (52 cases) and harassment or intimidation (70 cases).
Parliament strongly advocates the importance of a free press. In a May 2018 resolution, MEPs called on EU countries to ensure adequate public funding and to promote a pluralist, independent and free media. Parliament has once again underlined the importance of media freedom in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch this Facebook live interview about the Daphne Caruana Galizia Journalism Prize.
Find out more
Austria's Kurz expects to be charged but cleared in perjury case
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (pictured) expects to be charged but eventually cleared in an investigation into whether he gave false testimony to a parliamentary commission, he told Sunday newspapers, ruling out the idea of resigning if indicted.
The investigation by anti-corruption prosecutors, made public, last week poses a stiff political challenge for the conservative Kurz, 34, who governs in coalition with the Greens.
Kurz has painted himself as the victim of opposition parties trying to trap him into saying something that could be construed as perjury before the commission, which is looking into possible corruption under his previous coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) which collapsed in 2019. read more
"After every word of mine on 58 pages (of testimony) is put on the scale, I certainly expect a criminal complaint, that's right," he told the Krone newspaper in an interview, adding he had not yet been questioned by prosecutors.
But he said he was confident he would be exonerated in the case, which centres on whether he answered truthfully when asked about appointments to state holding company OBAG.
"I have spoken to numerous lawyers and several university professors. The tenor was always the same: no one can imagine that there will be a conviction here," he told the paper.
In a separate interview with the Oesterreich paper, he rejected the idea of stepping down if indicted.
"I definitely rule that out. Like many people, I have made many mistakes, both privately and professionally. But what I definitely know is that I went into the commission with the intention of answering the questions truthfully," he said.
An opinion poll published by Oesterreich showed Kurz's conservatives winning 35% support should parliamentary elections be held now, down 1 point from a week earlier and 2.5 points from its showing in 2019 elections.
Its Greens partners were on 12%, in fourth place behind the Social Democrats on 22% and the FPO at 17%.
The commission has looked into the appointment in 2019 of a conservative loyalist as chief executive of OBAG, which manages Austria's stakes in companies including oil firm OMV. Text messages examined by the commission showed Kurz telling the candidate before then he would get "everything you want".
The investigation is looking at whether Kurz discussed the appointment with the candidate beforehand and whether the chancellor was involved in selecting members of OBAG's supervisory board, both of which Kurz denied at the commission.
Budapest mayor launches bid to challenge Orban next year
Budapest mayor Gergely Karacsony (pictured) on Saturday (15 May) announced his bid to become the prime minister candidate for Hungary's six opposition parties which are trying to forge an alliance to take on Prime Minister Viktor Orban in national elections next year.
Earlier this week, the Hungarian opposition said it would hold the country's first ever primary elections this year to pick joint candidates to contest the 2022 ballot, a move that could threaten Orban's more than decade-long grip on power. Read more
Hardline nationalist Orban and his Fidesz party have scored three successive landslides since 2010 largely due to an election system that favours large parties as, until now, the opposition has been fragmented and unable to cooperate.
"Full of faith and hope, accepting the backing of the parties supporting me ... I can declare that I will run for prime minister candidate in the opposition primaries," Karacsony said in a video on Facebook.
"I have made this decision as I feel that my country is in grave danger," he said. "We feel less and less that Hungary is one and indivisible," the 45-year-old Karacsony said, adding that he would aim to reunite the country.
Karacsony, as the candidate of a small green liberal party, unseated the Fidesz incumbent in municipal elections in 2019. He has said that the opposition cooperation in those elections could serve as a blueprint to unseat Orban.
A survey by the pollster Median published earlier this week put support for Orban's ruling Fidesz party at 40% of all voters, while the joint opposition party list was backed by 36% of the electorate.
Ex-Golden Dawn member extradited to Greece to start jail term
A former member of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party, Ioannis Lagos (pictured), was extradited to Athens on Saturday from Brussels, where he was a member of the European parliament.
EU lawmakers stripped Lagos of his immunity last month, paving the way for his arrest and extradition to Greece where he is to serve a prison sentence alongside other party members.
"For Orthodoxy and Greece, every sacrifice is worth it," Lagos shouted at reporters as he was brought handcuffed before an Athens prosecutor.
The leaders of Golden Dawn, who were often seen giving Nazi-style salutes, were sentenced to prison in October by a Greek court for running a criminal gang linked to hate crimes during the country's economic crisis.
Government spokeswoman Arostotelia Peloni said Greece had "fought and eliminated the toxic poison of Golden Dawn. The rule of law stood firm against criminals".
Six former lawmakers, including Lagos and Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos, were given 13-year jail terms.
Lagos had escaped arrest in October by leaving for Brussels the day the verdict was announced.
China5 days ago
The billion-dollar disaster - China's influence in Montenegro
coronavirus5 days ago
Recovery and Resilience Facility: Hungary submits official recovery and resilience plan
India4 days ago
Polemics in Pandemics: Big Pharma and the propaganda machinery
Uzbekistan5 days ago
Human rights in Uzbekistan: Achievements and tasks for the future
Disabilities5 days ago
A new ambitious EU Disability Strategy for 2021-2030
Defence5 days ago
Fighting terrorist content online: President von der Leyen to deliver video message at Christchurch Call summit on Friday
Kuwait4 days ago
Kuwait Ports Authority director under investigation for assault
Belgium4 days ago
Israel’s ambassador to Belgium lashes out at the Belgian government reaction, calls it ‘hypocrisy and cowardice’