More than 81,000 citizens call on the European Commission to protect whistleblowers

On 14 November 2017, representatives from the European Federation of Journalists, Eurocadres, the European Public Service Union (EPSU), Transparency International and WeMove.eu met with Tiina Astola, the Director General of DG Justice. They handed over the 81,000 signatures and the list of 80 organisations participating in the WhistleblowerProtection.eu platform. The platform and the petition were initiated by Eurocadres in October 2016 with the aim to push the European institutions to protect whistleblowers at the European level with a directive. During the meeting, the group highlighted the recent good news in the work for EU-wide whistleblower protection: The Parliament adopted, with a large majority, a…

EU Multi-stakeholder Conference on Fake news

“Fake news” is currently being discussed in sensitive contexts such as the US Presidential elections, Brexit and after EU electoral campaigns. The reasons why this phenomenon is more pervasive and impactful today than ever before are the ease with which news can be posted and shared on social media, the velocity with which such news may spread, and the global reach it might effortlessly attain. Consequently, President Juncker has taken up the challenge of fake news in his letter of Intent to the European Parliament and equally in his Mission letter to Commissioner Gabriel. He calls for action to “address…

The European Commission will not legislate on illegal content online

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes Commissioner Jourova’s decision not to initiate  EU-wide legislation to fine internet companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Microsoft, for failing to take down hate speech. “We would like to see the laws we have in place offline enforced also online”, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said on Thursday 28 September during a press conference. Instead, the Commission proposes a guidance to internet companies about how they improve their record by complying with a voluntary code of conduct created last year and so far adopted by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. “Our key challenge now will…

Call for key experts for public broadcast reform in Western Balkans tender

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the consortium leader, International Federation of Journalists  (IFJ), is preparing a proposal to the European commission Tender for Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans. As part of the bid they are looking for two key experts to manage the programme for 30 months starting November 2017. The candidates must be prepared to be located in one of the beneficiary countries. – KE1 : Team leader (550 days) – KE2 : Senior Broadcast Management Expert, Deputy Team Leader (440 days) Interested candidates are asked to send their CV using…

A European directive protecting whistleblowers will be presented in the coming months promised Juncker

On May 30, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised that a European directive protecting whistleblowers will be presented “in the coming months”, during an hearing with MEPs of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA). This declaration is another important step towards a protection of whistleblowers at the European level. Earlier this year, the European Commission had launched a public consultation aiming to collect information on the benefits and drawbacks of a sectorial and horizontal protection for people shading light on wrongdoings. “The European Federation of Journalists welcomed the European Commission’s public consultation. Whistleblowers became a hot topic following…

EU Conference on the European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Pillar of Social Rights: going forward together In March the European Commission published a first outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights and launched a broad public consultation to gather views and feedback. On 23 January 2017, the Commission will organise a high level conference in Brussels, which will be a unique opportunity to take stock of the consultation and to contribute to shaping the European Pillar of Social Rights. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will be represented by its director Renate Schroeder. see programme: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=1226&eventsId=1187&furtherEvents=yes      

EU colloquium called on Commission to protect whistleblowers

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) attended on 17-18 November 2016 the second edition of EU colloquium on fundamental rights dedicated this year to media pluralism and democracy. Hosted by Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice-president said in his opening speech that “being a journalist has become one of the most dangerous professions worldwide. Being a journalist is dangerous because of the physical dangers, it’s dangerous because of all the abuse you get all the time – online and elsewhere – it’s dangerous also because you take huge risks with the sustainability of your finances since it also is…

European Commission eager to foster media pluralism and public service media in Western Balkans

A delegation of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) met with Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations yesterday (05/09/2016) to discuss how to improve working and social conditions for journalists and how to foster high quality public service media (PSM) and media pluralism in the Western Balkans. “Unions are currently not playing the role they should play in Eastern Europe. The EU should support them and initiate social dialogue between stakeholders in the media industry”, said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård emphasizing the need to empower journalists unions in this region. A concrete proposal mentioned was to organise “trilateral meetings” between social partners and…

Mapping Media Freedom report: journalists increasingly attacked in Europe

Violence against journalists in Europe increased in the second quarter of 2016, reports submitted to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom platform show, as a government crackdown in Turkey intensified and protests turned violent in countries from France to Finland. Between 1 April and 30 June 2016, Mapping Media Freedom’s network of 18 correspondents and other journalists submitted a total of 341 verified reports of violations of press freedom to the database, a 13% rise over the first quarter of 2016. The platform — a joint undertaking with the European Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, partially funded by the European Commission…

EFJ joins coalition calling for EU protection for whistleblowers

Shortly after the adoption by the European Parliament of the trade secrets directive, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has started to campaign for a EU legislation to protect whistleblowers. The EFJ met with the Transparency and Democracy Campaigner of The Greens/ European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, Pamela Bartlett Quintanilla to discuss a draft proposal on “Whistleblower protection in the public and private sector in the EU”. This draft proposed on 4 May by the Greens/ European Free Alliance guarantees protection for workers, trainees and apprentices working in all sectors of activity who disclose information concerning harms or threat to the public…

EFJ told EU Enlargement Commissioner “Media censorship is a reality in Serbia”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today has told Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation that media censorship is a reality in Serbia following his controversial remark made on 15 February in a media briefing prior to his visit to Skopje this week. According to journalists attended the media briefing, Commissioner Hahn told journalists that “I have heard this several times [concerns about media freedom] and I am asking always about proof. I am willing to follow up such reproaches, but I need evidence and not only rumours.” When journalists further questioned…

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