MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The EU ban on Russian news outlets is contrary to the Swedish and Danish constitutions, which explicitly ban any form of censorship, journalists and educators told Danish media on Friday.
The EU Council of Ministers banned the broadcast of content from RT and Sputnik in March and added three other Russian outlets to the blacklist in June. The European Court of Justice defended the controversial measure, saying journalists’ rights were protected as long as they acted “in good faith”.
This is despite the fact that the legal safeguards of the Swedish Constitution’s Freedom of the Press Act protect “everyone’s right to publish without prior interference from any public authority”, while the Danish constitution states that “censorship and other preventative measures will never be introduced again.”
Media pundits claimed in an article in the EUobserver that the EU intervention had effectively overstepped basic laws in Sweden and Denmark, raising doubts about EU leaders’ commitment to democratic values and the rule of law.
Journalists said the EU executive had pushed aside constitutional defenses of freedom of expression with silent approval from the media and the public. The only exception was Norway, which is not a member state but is closely associated with the union.
They said the EU tribunal in Luxembourg had granted itself the right to decide what journalism was acceptable while denying EU citizens the ability to deal with “unfiltered statements from dubious sources” themselves.
“There is no confidence in our ability to deal with conflicting views on events. EU institutions decide what we can deal with. Freedom of expression is not absolute and never was,” they said.