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Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic on World Press Freedom Day

The World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3. On this occasion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic would like to express its gratitude to all brave journalists and media professionals and to reassure them of the continuous support of the Czech Republic. Freedom of speech and independent media are vital for good governance, informed decision-making and accountability of governments. The actual war in Europe clearly demonstrates the importance of freedom of press as a source of independent and truthful information, which lead to an adequate reaction of the democratic governments.

Support for media freedom is one of the long-term priorities of Czech foreign policy. As part of the Transition Promotion Program, the MFA spends more than 1 million Euros a year on projects supporting independent media, media education and training of journalists, including on initiatives against disinformation. As a member of the international platform Media Freedom Coalition, the Czech Republic actively defends freedom of independent media and support journalists at risk in fulfilling their unique role. One of our long-term important partners is Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, based in Prague since 1995. Its mission - to promote democratic values by providing independent broadcasting to 23 countries in the world – is today more important than ever. On the occasion of this year’s Press Freedom Day, the Czech Republic and the United States of America reconfirmed in a common statement their long-term cooperation and commitment to continue supporting independent media. The Czech Republic supports activities of the Council of Europe, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, works closely with the European Endowment for Democracy and participates in other international initiatives seeking better access to information. Czechia also financially supports the UNESCO Global Media Defence Fund. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to use today´s occasion to appreciate the tireless efforts of all courageous journalists, editors, bloggers and other media associates who remain committed to providing the public with independent and verified information despite all the risks of their profession. We also wish to thank all our partners who help us fight for freedom of expression and the media in the world.