European Federation of Journalists

Webinar: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Media Freedom in Survival Mode

25 January 2024 10:00 CET Register here On 15 December 2022, the European Council granted Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status for EU membership. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 accelerated the EU enlargement process, Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to improve its environment for the media to continue on its path towards potential EU accession, as limited progress has been made since submitting its application in 2016. In this MFRR webinar, speakers will discuss the findings of a recent press freedom fact-finding mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighting the suffocating environment for independent journalists in the country and…

Romania: Media freedom mission ahead of super electoral year

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will join a mission to Romania with the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR). The mission aims to take the pulse of the current state of press freedom and independent journalism as the country gears up for a super electoral year in 2024. The mission will consist of two parts: an initial online fact-finding element involving meetings with media, journalists and civil society stakeholders, followed by an in-person visit to Bucharest later in the year to meet with political leaders and state authorities. The initial element of the mission will take place over the week…

MFRR highlights threats to media freedom in EU Commission’s Rule of Law report

Updates on some of the biggest developments and threats to media freedom and pluralism across European Union Member States throughout 2023 were submitted to the EU Commission’s annual Rule of Law Report by partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR). On 15 January 2024, MFRR consortium partners Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) filed detailed submissions to the report on the topic of media freedom and pluralism in Hungary, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The joint and individual submissions provide information of major developments in the media…

EFJ welcomes agreement on European Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the adoption on Friday of the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), the final version of which no longer refers to the possibility of spying on journalists on the basis of vague “national security” imperatives. This is a victory for all defenders of press freedom and democracy. Pending an in-depth analysis of the text of the agreement and the precise guarantees it puts forward to protect journalistic sources, the EFJ would like to thank the key players in the trilogue negotiations, European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova, Spanish Culture Minister Ernest Urtasun, and MEPs Sabine…

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Media freedom in survival mode

Following a press freedom mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 22-25 October 2023, the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) warn that media freedom in the country is in decline against a backdrop of new restrictive laws, hostile rhetoric and denigration of journalists by public officials, and ongoing systemic challenges to the independence of public service media. While the country had long experienced a stagnation in its progress for freedom of the media and freedom of expression, the situation has seen an overall decline, even as the country was granted candidate status for accession to the European…

EU: Polish election reinforces demands for the EU Media Freedom Act

As the European Parliament, Council and Commission enter the final negotiations on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), media freedom and human rights groups today call for the adoption of the Parliament’s text, which, while also in need of further strengthening, is currently the version best equipped to roll back the creeping spread of media capture. The recent elections in Poland underscore the need for a strong EMFA. The opposition won a majority, despite the fact the governing PiS party “enjoyed clear advantage through its undue influence over the use of state resources and the public media”, according to an…

Malta: EFJ, IFJ and media freedom groups call for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia

On the sixth anniversary of the murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, we, the undersigned organizations, renew our calls for Maltese authorities to bring to justice all those responsible for her killing and to implement in full the recommendations of the public inquiry into her assassination.  Caruana Galizia, who rose to prominence through her anti-corruption investigations and blogs, was killed by a car bomb in Malta on October 16, 2017. Three men have been convicted for the journalist’s murder and three other suspects await trial.  After pressure from the Caruana Galizia family and civil society, a public inquiry…

MFRR partners to carry out media freedom mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will travel to Banja Luka and Sarajevo from 22 to 25 October 2023 to assess the current state of play for media freedom in the country and start a dialogue with the authorities, less than a year after the European Union decided to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status. The delegation will consist of representatives of the MFRR partners, including ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani…

Report: Media freedom at a crossroads – Journalism in Poland faces uncertain future ahead of election

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners organised a mission in Poland to assess the challenges that Polish media face ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled on 15 October 2023. The main findings and a set of recommendations are included in a newly published report. This report explores how media capture and the widespread use of vexatious lawsuits have been used to create a hostile climate for independent journalism that weakens media’s ability to contribute to free and fair elections. Key findings include: The public media have been fully converted into a propaganda arm of the ruling party. The National…