European Parliament calls for protection of whistleblowers

Whistleblowers protection was debated yesterday evening (6 July) in Strasbourg during the plenary session. Members of the European Parliament (MEP) from different political groups expressed the need to have an EU-wide legislation protecting whistleblowers, while the Commission said it can’t move forward without firm legal basis. The discussion was prompted by the unsatisfying LuxLeaks judgement and the Panama Papers scandal, which recalled on the essential role whistleblowers play for the general public interest and the lack of protection they face at the national level. According to European People’s Party MEP Constance Le Grip, “those cases show the usefulness of whistleblowers in sheding light on activities where people are…

Adoption of the Trade Secrets Directive by the European Parliament: Investigative journalism must be guaranteed

Today, the European Parliament adopted the Directive on the protection of Trade Secrets. European journalists and media associations are concerned that this Directive could put journalists at risk therefore limiting their ability to investigate and report about businesses. This comes at a time when the “Panama Papers” revelations have reaffirmed the essential role that journalists, whistleblowers, and media play in informing citizens about issues of public interest. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RWB), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU – UER) take note of…

Parliament committee adopts draft trade secrets directive

Following months of debates and Trilogue negotiations on the Commission’s proposal for a Trade Secrets Directive, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs today has finally voted the final draft proposal on trade secrets. It improves the legal certainty as regards the exception for exercising the right to freedom of expression and information but journalists and media associations will remain vigilant. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) takes note of the generally positive amendments made to the initial draft Directive on Trade Secrets. Throughout the negotiations, the EFJ together with other media organisations’ representatives (including the European Broadcasting Union, European…

Employment and social security in the digital economy

On the invitation of Jutta Steinruck, German MEP and Rapporteur for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs for the opinion on ‘Towards a Digital Single Market’, the EFJ participated in a conference on “Employment and social security in the Digital Single Market: Chances and Challenges”. “We may move towards a trend of casualisation threatening collective bargaining and freedom of association,with increasingly outsourced work”, warned Valerio de Stefano from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The more important it is for unions to organise in the digital economy, to advocate for fundamental rights for all workers and for companies to be…

EFJ/IFJ delegation hold talks with Julia Reda over trade secrets and authors’ rights

An IFJ/EFJ delegation met with Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda this morning to discuss her report on the implementation of the “infosoc” directive on copyright and related rights in the information society and the directive on trade secrets for which she was appointed as shadow rapporteur for the Greens EP group. The delegation was composed of EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez and IFJ/EFJ authors’ rights officer Pamela Morinière. The IFJ and the EFJ expressed its strong rejection of the trade secret directive. “You were right to vote against the current version of the text,” Ricardo…

65 European organisations call on MEPs to revise the Trade Secrets directive:

The draft EU directive on trade secrets will be put to the vote on June 16 by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI). This directive threatens fundamental rights and puts the profits of multinational corporations over democratic, social and environmental rights. By adopting a broad and vague definition of trade secrets, and by making it an offense every time information considered confidential by the company concerned is published, the whole range of activities of the media, trade unions and whistleblowers is threatened. At the same time, the European Commission refused on June 6 to begin work on a directive…

EU copyright reform needs to address fairness in creative sector

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, told EU policy-makers to address the unfair contractual practices in the media and creative sectors in a meeting organised by the European Parliament working group on intellectual property rights and copyright reform in Strasburg. Addressing members of the working group, Blicher Bjerregård says, “The biggest challenge facing journalists today is the unfair contractual practices that deprived the right of journalists from receiving fair payment for their work. “The imbalance in negotiation power between media organisations and individual journalists allows this to happen.” You can read the full speech…

EFJ will speak out for journalists’ authors’ rights in Strasbourg

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by the President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, will attend the third meeting of the Copyright Working Group of the European Parliament (EP) on 12 February in Strasbourg, to address the interest of journalists in the upcoming EU copyright reform. For the first time, representatives of authors including the EFJ are invited to address the issue in front of the group and other members of the parliament. Blicher Bjerregård said, “The importance of authors’ rights has not changed because of the emergence of new media platforms. Authors’ rights become ever more important in ensuring the…

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European resolution condemns Turkish repressive measures against journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the adoption of a new resolution by the European Parliament on freedom of expression in Turkey. The resolution adopted (551 votes in favour, 11 against and 31 abstentions) by members of the European Parliament (MEP) condemned the police raids on 14 December 2014 against Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV and the detention of a number of journalists and media representatives in Turkey. They recalled that a free and pluralistic press is the core of a democratic system and stressed that judicial independence was not respected in the country.”The government’s response to the allegations…

Kati Piri: “The biggest threats on journalism come from those in power”

The European Federation of Journalists attended the conference “Je suis Charlie-Media Freedom in the EU and South Eastern Europe” at the European Parliament. Hosted by Ulrike LUNACEK, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Green Party, in cooperation with the Italian based Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso (OBC) the meeting discussed threats on media freedom, in particular within the context of the project “safety net for European journalists presented by OBC. Tanja FAJON, Member of the European Parliament, warned about excessive security measures taken by European governments after the Charlie Hebdo’s attack. “In this moment, the government’s responsibility is to strengthen solidarity and…