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Saturday, December 3, 2022

MEPs Tomc, Zver, And Bogovič In A Letter To The Quaestor Of The European Parliament: Political Opponents Of The Right Like To Interfere With Media Freedom

By: Andrej Žitnik / Nova24tv

Member of the European Parliament Romana Tomc, along with her co-signatories MEP Milan Zver and MEP Franc Bogovič, sent a letter of protest to the Quaestor of the European Parliament against the removal of Nova24TV from the European Parliament’s TV network after MEP Matjaž Nemec demanded it. We are publishing the letter in its entirety below.

MEP Tomc and her co-signatories called on Quaestor Marcel Kolaja to remind his fellow MEP (Matjaž Nemec) of the basics of media freedom, the purpose of TV channels available in the European Parliament and, above all, tolerance towards those who have different beliefs than he does.

Namely, MEP Matjać Nemec sent a letter to the European Parliament, written in English at the level of a highschooler – filled with spelling and content mistakes – asking that Nova24TV be excluded from the European Parliament’s list of IPTV channels and POP TV be included on the list instead. Nemec made sure to include lots of untruths in his letter, which led to the Director of Nova24TV announcing a lawsuit against him.

In the letter, the MEPs in question expressed their outrage at Nemec’s letter and their strong opposition to the exclusion of Nova24TV from the list of programmes available in the European Parliament. You can read the letter in its entirety below.

“Dear Mr Kolaja,

Last week, we, the undersigned MEPs from Slovenia, were surprised to learn of a request from MEP Matjaž Han (and potentially other MEPs) that Nova24TV be removed from the list of television channels available in the European Parliament.

We are aware that last week, the MEP, who is part of the S&D Group, and potential other signatories, demanded the withdrawal of the Nova24TV television channel and proposed the inclusion of POP TV in the channel line-up. We are appalled at the way in which our fellow Member of the European Parliament has gone about this because he embodies what we have been warning about for a long time in relation to Slovenia.
The political opponents of the right-wing parties, who like to call themselves the proud successors of the Communists, also like to interfere with media freedom, impose requirements on the media and tell editors what content must be broadcast. They restrict the right to freedom of expression and the right to information. They respect neither media freedom nor media pluralism, a problem that the European Commission has been pointing out in relation to Slovenia for many years. This is why the presence of Nova24TV, which is also the only all-day news programme television channel in the Slovenian media space, is all the more important.

This initiative is entirely politically motivated, with the aim of further dividing the Slovenian public, and above all, it is intended for its own self-promotion. The words about the channel’s viewership have no real basis.

We strongly oppose the call by MEP Nemec to remove Nova24TV from the list of parliamentary television channels. Please remind your fellow MEP of the basics of media freedom, the purpose of television channels in the European Parliament and, above all, tolerance towards those who have different beliefs than he does. In its resolution on media freedom adopted in 2020, the European Parliament stressed, among other things, that media freedom and pluralism are key to freedom of expression and information and a necessary foundation for the democratic functioning of the European Union. We expect the European Parliament itself to respect this requirement.

Kind regards,

Romana Tomc
Dr Milan Zver
Franc Bogovič

It is encouraging to see that MEPs from different Slovenian parties belonging to the same pan-European family are uniting their opinions and opposing such attempts at autocracy, which have become a constant practice in Slovenia since the election of the new government. We must not allow such practices to become part of our democracy.

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