Event: Liberties in Lockdown – Is the Coronavirus Infecting Free Speech?

Brought to you by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) and FNF Europe


Where? Zoom Webinar
When?   22 April 2020, 09h30 – 10h30 (CEST)

REGISTER until 21.04.20 at https://tinyurl.com/yb2a7jjp

Even if we are in lockdown, our liberties should not be. As the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic with whatever mechanisms it has at its disposal, it appears that certain governments, companies, and individuals see this as an opportunity to lock our liberties in small, dark dungeons and then throw away the keys.
Whilst it is true that extreme problems require extreme solutions, how different will our world look (economically, socially, education and health-wise, politically, etc.) after the lockdowns have ended and the travel restrictions are lifted? Will we recognise our countries and cities; our neighbourhoods and friends? Will we recognise ourselves?
Join us for a new online series focused on our Liberties in Lockdown, brought to a digital screen near you by the European Liberal Forum.


It is no surprise that in times of crisis, people are more susceptible to disinformation. As we rely increasingly on the news for trustworthy updates on a rapidly evolving situation, we can often find ourselves victim to false narratives and manipulated truths. The media’s relationship to truth has time and again been plagued with difficulties, but when urgent updates about healthcare are at stake, people are especially vulnerable. Governments have a responsibility to ensure a minimum level of transparency so that journalists can do their jobs without fear of imprisonment. Freedom of the media should not be put in lockdown.
How can we immunise ourselves against the virus of disinformation? What actions can be taken by the European Union and national governments to ensure that proper defence mechanisms are in place to protect citizens from disinformation, while at the same time safeguarding the right to freedom of expression? What more could journalists do to help the fight against the coronavirus? Do our societies have enough freedom of expression antibodies to be able to fight the virus of disinformation?
These questions, and many more, will be tackled by our distinguished speakers during the third online event of ELF’s new series – Liberties in Lockdown. This event is organised with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF).



Ramona Strugariu, Member of the European Parliament, Renew
Europe Group

Scott Griffen, Deputy Director, International Press Institute (IPI)

Nad’a Kovalcikova, Programme Manager & Fellow, Alliance for
Securing Democracy (ASD), German Marshal Fund (GMF), Brussels



Anneli Ahonen, Head of East Stratcom Task Force, European External Action Service (EEAS)