Baku and Brussels discuss Azerbaijan’s controversial media law and freedom of speech
EU’s response to Azerbaijan’s Law on Media
The European Union attaches great importance to free and independent journalism, head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko said. According to him, the Law on Media, which came into force in Azerbaijan, has become a topic of discussion between the EU and the Azerbaijani authorities. “It is important that the law doe not have a negative impact on the activities of journalists”, Mikhalko emphasized.
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At a press conference dedicated to World Press Day, the head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan, Peter Michalko, said that the EU attaches great importance to free and independent journalism.
“Law on Media” became a topic of discussion
According to him, the issue of the new “Law on Media” that came into force in Azerbaijan in January became the topic of discussion between representatives of the European Union and the Azerbaijani authorities: “It was noted that it is important that the law does not not have a negative impact on the activities of journalists”.
The head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan noted that the EU can support local media with projects to improve the professionalism of journalists, including in the country’s regions. In addition, the Azerbaijani media can take advantage of regional projects within the framework of the Eastern Partnership.
New partnership agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan
Peter Michalko said that the further development of cooperation within the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership program depends on the desire of the participating countries themselves.
“The day before, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia submitted answers on the first stage of the questionnaire for EU accession. With Azerbaijan, the EU continues to work on signing a new comprehensive partnership agreement. Against the backdrop of recent high-level mutual visits, work has also intensified on this document, which will take the partnership to a new level”, he stressed.
It was also noted at the press conference that the European Union is the main trading partner of Azerbaijan, 51% of whose exports fall on the European market.
Mikhalko expressed the opinion that the new agreement will open up new opportunities for economic cooperation: “We want to strengthen trade relations and bring more Azerbaijani products to the European market. We believe that the new agreement will contribute to this”.