Towards stronger unions
Common values and divided opinions were shared during the EFJ General Meeting in Sarajevo. What stood out in the meeting and bound us together was our common values to defend journalists’ rights, independent journalism and the commitment to build stronger unions.I thank for support of colleagues who entrusted me to be the EFJ president for the next three years. And I look forwards to the next three years. Together with the newly elected Steering Committee, we will make a strong team to deliver more results and services to our members.
On lobbying, we will continue to deliver on authors’ rights demanding for fair contracts for all journalists and collective management organisations to ensure fair and transparent remuneration of journalists in the digital single market.
Recognising that the EFJ has succeeded in improving journalists’ rights in the Trade Secret Directive, we must be vigilant when it comes to national implementation of the Directive. We will lobby for more protection for journalists’ sources – whistleblowers – in EU legislation.
Another focal point was digitisation. We had in the past set up a working group on this issue but the result is yet to be seen. The General Meeting reflected on this and supported the idea of being more flexible in our approach on expert groups and the need to have a more comprehensive and integrated approach on digitisation.
Turkey remains to be a concern as more crackdowns hit Istanbul. While journalists face attacks, there are still more than 30 journalists remain in jails. We will need more funding to continue our campaign to set journalism free.
The outcome of the General Meeting was a significant step forward for the federation. With a more sustainable fee-system, our increasing influence in lobbying and solidarity work across Europe and beyond, the EFJ will grow stronger.
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård
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