imageOn the second day of the meeting in Strasbourg, the participants in the meeting were addressed by two MEPs. first, it was the turn of Catherine Trautmann, MEP, member of the committee of industry, research and energy. The former Mayor of Strasbourg, ex-deputy and ex-minister of culture and communications in France expressed her concern as it seems that “in this times of crisis, human rights a under threat”. She highlighted the importance of freedom of expression, access to frequencies and platforms to ensure free flow of information and how community radios should be supported. Emer Costello, MEP from Ireland joined the meeting. Emer Costello is an Irish Labour Party politician. She has been a S&D Member of the European Parliament for Dublin since February 2012. She was a member of Dublin City Council from 2003 to 2012, and was Lord Mayor of Dublin from 2009–10.
She is rapporteur for the Fund for European aid to the most deprived. She pointed the effects of austerity policies on free flow of information, and expressed her concern for the Greek government decision on the closure of public sector media. “Community radio is quite important”, Costello said. “MEPs find difficult to highlight their work in their own country media. Community media has a contact with the citizens and they are happy to talk about European issues”. Before politics, Emer Costello was responsible for the introduction of Lifelong Learning Grundtvig Fund in Ireland. She is very committed to Lifelong Learning and believes that community radio plays a really important role when it comes to promote adult education and skills learning, and because of that should keep benefiting of this kind of funding.