Vera Jourova, the Czech Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), has announced that independent media outlets will receive significant support from the European Union’s next budget. The politician who maintains close ties with George Soros broke the news to representatives of organisations that belong to the stock market speculator’s circles.
A recent online conference on the role of the press, hosted by EURACTIV Bulgaria, was also attended by EC Vice President Vera Jourova. During the discussion, the Czech politician announced that the next EU budget will set aside 61 million euros to support independent media and journalists. According to her, the Commission will focus its efforts on ensuring the pluralism of the EU digital media market and developing mechanisms to protect journalists from so-called SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) cases. SLAPP lawsuits are meant to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their criticism and objections.
“The Commission cannot win the war to protect the independent media alone, but we will use all the tools at our disposal,” Ms Jourova said.
Pavel Szalai, EU and Balkans Coordinator or the organisation Reporters Without Borders, also attended the conference. His organisation received more than 200 thousand dollars from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) in 2017.
He recalled that in 2019 Bulgaria signed the Partnership for Information and Democracy, which aims to promote freedom of expression globally. However, media freedom in Bulgaria continues to deteriorate, and the Bulgarian government has no will to improve the situation, Mr Szalai contended. He added that Reporters Without Borders had sent PM Borissov a Roadmap for Media Policy in Bulgaria, but there has been no reaction from the Bulgarian premier.
Publishers from Bulgarian media also attended the conference. Economedia was represented by managing director Galya Prokopieva, who said there were plans to disintegrate the press in Bulgaria.
On Economedia’s website lists an organisation called America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) as a funder. ABF is basically the “poor men’s” OSF.
According to information made available on ABF’s website, the organisation is “an independent, nonpartisan, and nonpolitical American grant-making foundation working in partnership with Bulgarians to strengthen the country’s private sector and related democratic institutions”.
ABF also supports civil society organisations. In 2017, for instance, Transparency International Association, an organisation with close ties to George Soros, was awarded more than 400 thousand dollars in grant.
In addition, ABF also cooperates with George Soros and his network. ABF’s 2019 annual report says the Bulgarian Anti-Corruption Fund was set up with their assistance, with major funding from OSF.
OSF and ABF also share common links through the American University in Bulgaria, as both organisations support the education institution. Soros’s organisations have awarded the university more than 36 million dollars in grants and secured over 3,000 scholarships.