Transparency International EU welcomes EU adoption of Anti-SLAPP Directive

Pia Engelbrecht-Bogdanov
27 February, 2024
Press Release

27 February 2024, Brussels

The EU Parliament has today taken the EU one step closer to safeguarding journalists and media freedom in voting to support the EU Anti-SLAPPs Directive. SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation) are designed to silence journalists and critical voices such as civil society organisations and individuals seeking to protect human and democratic rights. Transparency International EU (TI EU) has, as a co-founding member of the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE), been pushing for strong protection against SLAPPs in the wake of the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Cauana Galizia, who was facing 48 active defamation lawsuits at the time of her killing over six years ago, due to her efforts to shed light on corruption.

This means the EU will take a decisive stance against the weaponisation of litigation against journalists, civil society organisations and human rights defenders seeking to investigate the powerful and protect the public interest. TI EU welcomes the strong stance taken by the European Parliament, despite attempts by the European Council to water down the directive, which would have rendered it meaningless. The final text adds important protections, including providing cross-border protections, the right to compensation for damages, and an early dismissal mechanism for manifestly unfounded claims.

Vitor Teixeira, Senior Policy Officer for Rule of Law and Civic Space, said, “At a time where journalists and civic space are under increasing threat across Europe, the EU has today shown it is on the side of those fighting to uphold democracy, not those seeking to undermine it.”

The European Council will endorse the Directive in March, and it is expected to be published in the official Gazette by the end of April.


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Vitor Teixeira

Senior Policy Officer - Rule of Law and Civic Space