The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is very concerned about the Romanian National Defence Strategy which has been adopted by the Romanian Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) and passed on to the Romanian Parliament.
According to information received by SEEMO, the President of Romania initiated a National Defence Strategy which contained, among other things, serious allegations against the media – which is described as a security threat and vulnerability for Romania due to alleged press campaigns aimed at spreading false information about the activity of state institutions. The document has been adopted by the CSAT and was passed on to the Romanian Parliament on 23 June 2010.
The National Defence Strategy has sparked reaction throughout Romania and from various international media organisations.
“It is very alarming that the President of Romania, a member country of the European Union, has issued such a strategy laying out allegations against the media instead of defending freedom of speech and democracy,” said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.
Vujovic added: “It is even more worrisome that the strategy has already been adopted by the CSAT. In a democratic society the media plays an important role by informing the public about matters of public interest. The National Defence Strategy poses a threat to freedom of speech and critical reporting. SEEMO strongly condemns the statements suggesting that the media is a security threat and vulnerability for Romania, and calls on the Romanian Parliament to respect the role of the media and reject the strategy accordingly.”