EFJ’s reaction to President Juncker’s State of the Union Speech

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, has made his State of the Union speech outlining his vision for the future of Europe. Commenting on the State of the Union speech, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes his commitment to address the social dimension of the digital single market in particular in the area of social and workers’ rights. In his speech, President Juncker said: “In a Union of equals, there can be no second class workers. Workers should earn the same pay for the same work in the same place.” Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary said: “We welcome…

How to ensure editorial independence in the newsroom?

Journalists are facing increasing economic and political pressure hampering editorial independence in the newsrooms, concluded 20 journalists who attended the two-day workshop on Promoting editorial independence in the newsrooms. It was co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) on 29 & 30 August with the financial support of the European Union. The workshop was also supported by the Association des journalistes Professionnels (AJP, Belgium) alongside their yearly Summer School for young journalists in Belgium. Journalists coming from 13 European countries (including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, France, Finland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Lithuania, Russia,…

Turkey: 35 warrants to detain journalists and media workers

Turkish authorities have arrested 9 journalists and media workers and issued warrants to 26 others accusing them of ties to the Gulenist movement blamed by the government for orchestrating last year’s attempted coup. According to Turkish state media Anadolu Agency, Turkish police carried out raids today issuing warrants and arresting media workers suspected of using an encrypted messaging app called ByLock, which is supposedly favoured by Gulenists. Journalist Burak Ekici, who works for opposition newspaper Birgun, is among those arrested, accused of “membership of an armed terrorist organization”.  The IFJ and EFJ denounced the repeated accusations of “terrorism” by the…

Belgian Ministers asked to help release French journalist Loup Bureau

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined an initiative launched by the journalism school attended by the French journalist Loup Bureau calling on the Vice Prime Minister and the Minster of Foreign Affairs to help free the arrested journalist in Turkey. Bureau’s fellow students at the Brussels School of Journalism and Communication (IHECS) together with the EFJ, the Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgian and other educational institutions  has written to the Belgian government today for their help to release Bureau. Bureau was arrested on Wednesday 2 August by the Turkish police following five days of detention in southeastern Sirnak…

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to sustainable funding

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has signed an agreement with the electric company Elektroprivreda – JP EP on the collection of TV license fee through the electricity bills starting this month. With this agreement, the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) will be provided with a steady income of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming. The other domestic electric companies will be offered the same contract and the BHRT expects a positive outcome. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomes…

Slovenia to reform labour laws enforcing contractual obligations

The Slovenian government has recently introduced two draft labour laws on employment and labour inspection. The main changes concern giving the labour inspectors more authority to act, especially when the employer fails to pay the salary of employees, accelerate the process whereby the unemployed take up employment again and make employment contract termination more flexible. “Precarious conditions are becoming more and more common, not just in Slovenia, but also in Europe,” said Anja Kopač Mrak, the Slovenian minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities at the voting session of the draft labour laws at the beginning of this…

EFJ responds to EU consultation on access to social protection

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has responded to a consultation launched by the European Commission calling for equal access and treatment of freelance and atypical workers in journalism. The consultation on ”a possible action addressing the challenges of access to social protection for people in all forms of employment” has identified a number of issues facing the so-called ”atypical workers”. In journalism, these atypcial workers are characterised by the work of freelance journalists who mostly are precarious due to the existing gap in social protection and wage. The EFJ welcomed the consultation and the challenges identified by the Commission.…

EFJ responds to EU consultation on Written Statement Directive

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has responded to the consultation on the Written Statement Directive that obliges employers to inform employees their rights and conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship. The consultation was launched by the European Commission within the framework of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The EFJ welcomes the consultation looking into improved protection for workers especially the so-called atypical workers who are in precarious working conditions. Here is the EFJ’s response.

Safe and reform public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina

An international conference on public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has concluded with an agreement that the failure of PSM in the country would be unacceptable. Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is under threat of imminent collapse due to insufficient and unsustainable funding and the authorities’ inability to make the necessary reforms to the media law. More than 100 participants from parliament, government, regulatory authorities, the media, the international community and the civil sector met in Sarajevo to discuss the importance of PSM. Organised by the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) in…

Ireland: Unions celebrate victory over competition authority

Irish freelance workers will be allowed the right to collective bargaining. On the evening of 31 May, the Irish Parliament adopted the Labour Party proposed Competition Amendment Bill 2016, which aims to introduce exemptions from competition law for certain self-employed workers. Since a competition ruling was handed down thirteen years ago, agreements  negotiated with  artists unions on minimum tariffs  have been considered as breaches of competition  law. To avoid the competition law a union has to prove either that its members are false independent workers (in a subordinate relationship, obliged to follow instructions,  do not share the same business risks…

Global Rights Index 2017: Europe shows greater respect for trade unions

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) released this year’s Global Rights Index report, providing an insight into workers’ rights violations around the world. It rates 139 countries from one to five according to 97 indicators to determine where workers’ rights are best protected in law and in practice. Following the report, the worst countries for workers in Europe are Turkey, Belarus, Greece, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Serbia and the United Kingdom. The number of countries experiencing physical violence and threats against workers has risen by 10 percent in just one year. In Europe, however, trade unions have greater respect…

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