Invitation to participate from EU Commissioner Poul Nielson

Lorenzo Natali and the European Commission
by Poul Nielson, EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

Poul NielsonThe Natali Prize for Journalism, Excellence in Reporting Human Rights, Democracy and Development was established by the European Union in 1992 to promote quality journalism and to commemorate the dedication of the late Vice-President of the European Commission, Lorenzo Natali, EU Commissioner responsible for development co-operation between 1985 and 1989, whose work and personal commitment contributed so much to policies that underline the importance Europe attaches to co-operation and support for developing countries.

The Natali Prize recognises that freedom of expression includes the right for citizens to be informed and that press freedom opens the door to democracy, development and prosperity. Quality journalism plays a vital role in securing these rights. But reporting is not easy these days. Journalists and media staff continue to be targeted and killed for their reporting and persistence in raising awareness of human rights issues all over the world. It is events like these that bring the need for informed and quality journalism sharply into focus.

The European Commission's commitment to the Natali Prize demonstrates how much we value good journalism as a bulwark of democracy and human rights. Winners of the Natali Prize will demonstrate a striking insight to the reporting of human rights issues within the context of development. It is a great professional challenge.

The European Commission, the International Federation of Journalists, members of the jury and above all, you, potential candidates, have the opportunity to raise the profile of journalism and the importance of human rights and development through the Natali Prize. Let me invite you to participate.

Poul Nielson
EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid