Media Freedoms and Accession Talks: Speak up Serbia! In light of the launch of accession talks with Serbia, EP rapporteur on the country Jelko Kacin is organizing a public discussion which will look into the underlying challenges facing media freedom in the country. The outstanding issues have been transparency of media ownership and state-funded advertisements which render free and open competition for independent media outlets extremely difficult.
As one of the strongest pro-enlargement voices in the EU, ALDE argues that EU-related reforms in aspirant and candidate countries must be deep and fully implemented. Freedom of media is essential if the reform effort is to deliver results in Serbia. The event, which will take place merely two weeks after the snap parliamentary elections in Serbia, would provide an excellent opportunity to reflect on the anticipated shortfalls of the media coverage of the campaign and to have an exchange of views among the stakeholders on what has stymied reforms in the past. These issues should be tackled
How to deal with Russia? Petras Austrevicius, MEP, is hosting a conference on EU-Russia relations in light of the Ukrainian crisis and its consequences on the overall European security. The following speakers will be on the panel:Andrey Illarionov, Senior fellow, Cato Institute, Washington DC. Andrei Piontkovsky, Senior Fellow, Institute for System Analysis, Moscow. Mr Piontkovsky contributes regularly to Novaya Gazeta and the Moscow Times. He is a political commentator for the BBC World Services and Radio Liberty in Moscow.Alexander Schetinin, Journalist, New Region information agency
Interpretation will be provided in English, Russian and French.
Hungary: the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights ALDE will hold a hearing on the situation of Hungary during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Representatives of civil society, press and experts have been invited to speak about developments in Hungary, notably the crackdown on NGOs supporting democracy and civil rights. Europe is a community of values. We have to stand up for those values, when they are under threat. Europe cannot credibly promote fundamental rights abroad if we do not enforce them within the EU itself. We should also send a powerful signal that authoritarianism and intolerance have no place in Europe.
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Russian Embargo: Challenges and Solutions for European Businesses Russian Embargo: Challenges and Solutions for European Businesses
What are the alternative markets for EU food producers and how to access them? What are the Member States and business representatives doing in order to approach these new markets and what strategies prove to be successful? Could this embargo be a chance to promote local products? Does the answer lay in reorientation towards new markets which are more stable and reliable than Russia? This event aims to serve as a panel for business analysts and operators from several countries to discuss the economic implications of this embargo for various sectors as well as possible solutions. The emphasis of this exchange lies on the way forward and alternatives for the European agri-food business and other sectors. This event does not intend to discuss the possible value and effectiveness of the sanctions imposed by the EU or Russia. Instead, it wants to focus on the impact but also on the solutions for the food producers and other