European Democracy Conference. Creator: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. All rights reserved.

International Conference

Monday, 10. October 2022 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Save in my calendar

International Conference

Press and Media Freedom under Pressure

European Democracy Conference 2022

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine represents a watershed moment of truly unfathomable magnitude in European post-war history. This war between democracy and authoritarianism is also waged on another battleground: the media. Targeted disinformation campaigns disseminating Russian propaganda not only affect Russian society but also have severe repercussions for independent reporting in Europe.

A free, independent press and a vibrant, diverse media landscape are the backbone of liberal democracy. In Europe and the European Union in particular however, these cornerstones of democratic order are coming under increasing pressure. For years, the progressive decline of an independent press and media landscape has - albeit for different reasons - been observed in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Malta, and most recently in Greece. Independent reporting is threatened by cartelization or state capture of entire media landscapes. Investigative journalists are not only exposed to threats, hate, and smear campaigns online but have also faced violent physical attacks. Moreover, they are intimidated through legal action, intended to prevent them from carrying out their research. One thing is clear: Europe has long ceased to be a safe haven for a critical, free press. The murders of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak represent the disturbing culmination of this creeping deterioration.  

What we urgently need is a strong public debate on how to counteract the advancing deterioration of free reporting in a targeted and decisive manner. We need to ask ourselves:

  • What is causing the critical deterioration of media and press freedoms, and which challenges do European media systems face today?
  • How can we decisively reduce the threat to journalists in the EU and shape the future of critical and independent journalism in Europe in a sustainable manner? 
  • In what ways can policy makers react to monopolization, nationalization, and other undesirable currents within the EU’s media landscape? Which alternative media formats and financing models have already been put in place that could counteract these developments?
  • How can liberal democracies take defensive action against targeted disinformation?

We want to discuss these urgent questions at the European Democracy Conference with journalists, media professionals, experts, academics, and agents of an active and courageous civil society, with the objective of highlighting solutions and initiatives as examples of good practices. 

Twitter: #eupol22 #StandWithUkraine

Keynote and panel discussion with:  

  • Matthew Caruana Galizia, Director, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, Valletta
  • Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Bündnis 90/Grüne, Berlin
  • Jan Philipp Albrecht, President, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin
  • Maria Kurinna, International Advocacy Officer, ZMINA, Warsaw
  • Christian Mihr, Executive Director, Reporters Without Borders Germany, Berlin
  • Chair: Nina Horaczek, Author and Reporter-in-Chief, Falter, Vienna

The programme is available for download below. 

Technical note

Free entry

The conference will be held in German and English. Respective simultaneous translations are available.  

The event will be livestreamed, available here

Time and venue
Monday, October 10, 2022, 5 pm - 7 pm (CEST)
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Beletage; Schumannstraße 8, 10117 Berlin-Mitte

Please register by completing the electronic registration form at the top right corner of this page. 

How to reach the venue
Bus: route 147. Stop Deutsches Theater (barrier-free, 150m on foot)
S-Bahn: routes S1, 2, 25, 5, 7, 75, 9. Station Friedrichstraße (exit Albrechtstr., not barrier-free, 250m on foot; alternatively exit Friedrichstr., elevator available, 750m on foot or bus line 147 until Deutsches Theater)
U-Bahn: route U6. Station Oranienburger Tor (500m on foot)
Tram: routes M1, M6, 12. Station Oranienburger Tor (500 - 600m on foot)
from Berlin Central Station (DB), bus route 147, direction Ostbahnhof to bus stop Deutsches Theater

Project management

  • Claudia Rothe, Advisor, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin, E:, T: +49 (0)30 285 34 385
  • Dr. Christine Pütz, Advisor, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin, E:, T: +49 (0)30 285 34 391

For all further questions, please contact

  • Georg McCutcheon, Project Officer, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin, E:, T: +49 (0)30 285 34 389
  • Carlotta Sallach, Project Management Consultant, Berlin, E:, T: +49 (0)157 888 71 310


Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Headquarter Berlin
Schumannstr. 8
10117 Berlin
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin
Simultaneous translation
video Watch livestream