EFJ co-organises the “Free European Media” Conference in Gdansk


Over 150 journalists, representatives of media organisations, media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians and human rights activists are expected to attend the “Free European Media” Conference to take place in Gdansk (Poland) on 15 – 16 February 2018.

The conference is organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and the International Press Institute, with the support of Polish journalists associations, local authorities and European Trade Union Federations, to address the importance of uncensored pluralistic media, a crucial element of liberal democracy.

Participants will examine the current status of press freedom from five critical angles:

  1. How pluralism creates and sustains democracy ?
  2. Ethical standards and self-censorship
  3. The media situation in Poland and Europe
  4. The importance of keeping new media and independent journalism outside state control
  5. How legislations can violate media freedom ?

The conference will analyse the impact on media in targeted areas in Europe through findings from the Media Pluralism Monitor and results of the Council of Europe study on self-censorship. A particular attention will be given to the media situation in countries where democracy is in decline or threatened. The conference aims at creating a sustainable long-term agenda, starting with the launch of a book focusing on conflicts between media and politics in different parts of Europe.

Speakers include Lech Walesa (former president of Poland and Nobel Peace prize laureate), Harlem Désir (OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media) and Matthew Caruana Galizia (ICIJ, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist). See the programme here. And the list of speakers here.

EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård underscored the political importance of the conference:

“Gdansk was the center of the new European freedom which lifted the Iron Curtain between East and West, and is therefore a symbolic place for the Free European Media conference. It will not be just another conference. We will follow up on the recommendations adopted by the debate in the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk.”

Please register online to attend the conference.

During the two days preceding the conference, on 13-14 February, the leaders and training officers of 21 EFJ member unions will attend in Gdansk Solidarity Centre the ETUI-EFJ training “Identifying trade union strategies on training and education”.

Around 55 EFJ representatives from 29 different countries will attend the events in Gdansk: Albania (APJA), Azerbaijan (JUHI), Belarus (BAJ), Belgium (AGJPB), Bosnia & Herzegovina (BHN), Croatia (CJA and SNH), Denmark (DJ), Estonia (EAL), Finland (UJF), Georgia (IAGJ), Germany (DJV and ver.di), Greece (JUADN, Espit and Esiemth), Italy (FNSI), Lithuania (LZS), Luxembourg (ALJP), Macedonia (ZNM), Montenegro (SMCG), The Netherlands (NVJ), Norway (NJ), Poland (SDP, SDRP and TD), Portugal (SinJor), Russia (RUJ), Serbia (UNS, NUNS  and Sinos), Spain (FAPE, FeSP, FSC-CCOO), Sweden (SJF), Switzerland (impressum), Turkey (TGS), United Kingdom (NUJ) and Ukraine (NUJU and IMTUU).

Picture credit: Free European Media.