The EU/CoE Programme EQUIROM Secretariat coordinated a significant Round Table event on November 7-8 in Strasbourg, France. Bringing together media regulators and equality bodies, as well as representatives from the European Commission (DG JUST), the Council of Europe and OSCE/ODIHR office, the objective was to deliberate on the pervasive issue of broadcasted antigypsyist hate speech, by enabling regulatory authorities and equality bodies to exchange on their regulations, practices, challenges and possible improvements, notably drafting and adopting essential guidelines.
Thanks to the collaboration with the CoE’s European Platform of Regulatory Authorities - EPRA, we welcomed media regulators from National Audiovisual Council (CNA) from Romania, Council of Electronic Media (CEM) from Bulgaria, National Council for Radio and Television (NCRT) from Greece, Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) from Italy, International Law and EU Integration Directorate (AMA) from Albania, and Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants, both present in person and attending online, engaged in interactive exchanges centred around case studies illustrating how the media portrays the Roma community. Two comprehensive studies on the portrayal of Roma in broadcasting media, as well as in written and electronic press, set the stage for deliberations.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the participants’ possible involvement in the EQUIROM programme, notably media campaign designed to counter antigypsyism. The campaigns, to be launched in Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania, seek to initiate cooperation with regulatory authorities, who were asked to prompt broadcasters to feature the campaign’s audio-visual materials. Trainings on antigypsyist hate speech for journalists were also emphasised as an important and effective measure in implementing international human right standards as well as improved ethical codes in their work. Civil society organisations should be further encouraged to promote positive portrayals and reports on social media, providing alternative perspectives to the people, while also using existing frameworks to empower discriminated communities and enhance their cooperation with the regulatory bodies. The European standards, ECHR case law and CoE HELP Courses were prominently featured, underscoring the multifaceted approach undertaken to tackle insulting, stereotyping, or slandering specific groups (racialised groups, including Roma).
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