Brussels receives 200,000-strong petition calling for EU anti-SLAPP law

The Europe-wide petition calling for an EU directive against SLAPP suits was backed by over 170 civil society groups across the continent

File photo
File photo

A petition with over 200,000 signatures has been presented to the European Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourová calling for an EU directive against SLAPP suits.

The petition was presented by representatives of the Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE) and two individuals affected by SLAPP suits.

The petition was launched in July 2021 and calls on the European Commission to propose an anti-SLAPP directive that effectively protects all those plagued by litigation across the EU.  

CASE presented the call by more than 200,000 people for strong legal safeguards against SLAPPS to Vice President Jourová on the heels of the public consultation that the Commission launched to map the SLAPP phenomenon.

More than 170 civil society groups from across Europe joined the call, including several Maltese NGOs inspired by the experience of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who faced multiple SLAPPs now inherited by her family.

The 146 submissions by stakeholders were backed by the voices of hundreds of thousands of people across Europe who want the EU to end the abuse of the justice system via SLAPPs.

In its submission to the Commission’s consultation, CASE argued that any measures introduced by the Commission must address the full scale of the problem - encompassing both cross-border and domestic SLAPPs.

The Commission is set to present an EU-wide anti-SLAPP initiative on 23 March.