European Federation of Journalists

Ukraine: MFRR partners highlight ongoing press freedom issues

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in highlighting ongoing press freedom concerns in Ukraine, over two years following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. While Ukraine was at first quick to unite in the face of armed aggression, setting aside internal conflicts and arguments, the climate of trust between officials and independent media seems to have seriously deteriorated, two years on. Repeated surveillance of journalists In comparison to neighbouring Russia and Belarus, Ukraine has long been a haven for independent media, offering local journalists the opportunity to criticise power without fear of…

WPFD 2024: MFRR partners sound the alarm over press freedom in Europe

On World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2024, the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) stand in solidarity with media workers everywhere and draw attention to the deteriorating press freedom situation in Europe. Since WPFD 2023, the MFRR partners have documented more than 1,000 media freedom violations affecting over 1,500 journalists or media entities in European Union Member States and candidate countries. As the year progressed, the MFRR witnessed physical attacks, harassment online and offline, the continued use of vexatious lawsuits to stifle critical reporting, further pressure on sustainable revenue streams for independent media, government attempts to muzzle public media, and tragically…

Georgia: Press freedom erosion amid reintroduced ‘Foreign agent law’

25 April 2024 12:00 CET REGISTER HERE On April 25, 2024, the Media Freedom Rapid Response will host a webinar addressing the recent decline in press freedom in Georgia. This decline has been exacerbated by the reintroduction of a Russia-style foreign agent law earlier this month. The new law, titled ‘Transparency of Foreign Influence’ requires independent media and civil society organisations that receive funding from abroad to label themselves as “organisations pursuing the interests of a foreign power.” Since then, journalists from online media were barred from the parliament when the law was being debated and on April 16, 2024, reporters from online media…

Armenia: press freedom and freedom of expression under threat

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Armenia, the Union of Journalists of Armenia (UJA), in denouncing the authorities’ misuse of anti-hooliganism legislation to suppress press freedom and freedom of expression. The EFJ and UJA demand the immediate release of Narek Samsonyan and Vazgen Saghatelyan, co-authors of the podcast “Imnemnimi”, imprisoned for criticising Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Vazgen Saghatelyan and Narek Samsonyan, the hosts of Imnemnimi, were given two-month pretrial detention on 22 March on charges of hooliganism. If found guilty, they could face up to five years in prison. Armenia’s Investigative Committee stated in a statement…

Slovakia: Lack of justice for Kuciak and Kušnírová’s assassination exacerbated by growing attacks on press freedom

On the sixth anniversary of the brutal killing of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned organisations in renewing our call for long-awaited justice for their killings and the imperative to break the cycle of impunity. As we remember Ján and Martina, we are alarmed by increasing threats to the rule of law and media freedom in Slovakia, in particular relating to the lack of accountability for crimes, the diminished protection of public watchdogs and the stark erosion of democratic institutions. The undersigned international organisations call on the Slovak…

UK: Assange prosecution threatens press freedom

“The ongoing prosecution of Julian Assange jeopardises media freedom everywhere in the world”, says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), in a joint statement ahead of his appeal hearing in London on 20 and 21 February. The IFJ and EFJ, which represent nearly 200 journalists unions’ and associations, have opposed Assange’s extradition since the publication of the US incitements under the US Espionage Act. The charges relate to Wikileaks publication in 2010 of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. These provided an extraordinarily detailed account of US military actions between 2004 and 2009.…

Webinar: Assessing the state of press freedom in Greece

30 January 2024 11:00 CET Register here   On 30 January, international media freedom groups will hold a webinar and press conference to mark the publication of a major report assessing the landscape for press freedom and independent journalism in Greece, following a mission to Athens in September 2023. The report examines the clear period of deterioration in media freedom in the EU Member State over the last few years, identifies the reasons behind this deterioration, and sets out recommendations for steps to be taken to address these many challenges. It also provides a detailed analysis of the measures taken…

EFJ calls on future Secretary General of the Council of Europe to commit to press freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the call by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to enforce Council of Europe standards on media freedom. This must be the top priority for the next Secretary General of the Council of Europe, who will be elected in June. Meeting in Strasbourg on 25 January, PACE emphasised the pressing need “to enforce the high standards on media freedom which the Council of Europe has established, to ensure effective protection of journalists and to uphold in all member States a friendly and safe environment for media independence and pluralism”. It…

Poland: MFRR reasserts recommendations for democratic reform for press freedom and public media

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the undersigned partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today renew their call for democratic and comprehensive reform to Poland’s public broadcasters which creates systematic safeguards to limit the ability of all governments, future and present, to meddle in editorial or institutional independence of the country’s public media. The MFRR coalition also reaffirms the set of recommendations for steps that can be taken by the new coalition government to improve the wider situation for media freedom and independent journalism in Poland. These recommendations were jointly developed following a recent mission of…

Murdered, surveilled and sued: decisive action needed to protect journalists and salvage press freedom in Greece

After a joint mission to Athens, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and seven international organisations today call on the Government and Prime Minister to show political courage and urgently take specific measures aimed at improving the climate for independent journalism and salvaging press freedom: Greek journalism is under sustained threat from the impact of the surveillance scandal “Predatorgate”, the unresolved killing of a reporter, abusive legal action and economic and political pressures. Although Europe has been shaken by the revelations about the targeting of Greek media professionals with spyware and the 2021 killing of veteran crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz,…

Poland: MFRR to visit Warsaw for press freedom mission

Partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) will travel to Warsaw on 11-13 September 2023 to conduct an international press freedom mission ahead of the country’s upcoming general election on 15 October. The MFRR mission will be joined by representatives of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Free Press Unlimited (FPU). Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will join the mission on behalf of the EFJ. The delegation will assess the current state of play for media freedom and pluralism and identify the…

North Macedonia: Press freedom mission finds fragile progress in need of further support

From 5-7 June 2023, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) took part in a fact-finding mission to North Macedonia, organised by the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM). While we recognise progress for media freedom and journalists’ working conditions in recent years, this improvement is fragile and must be consolidated. We welcome the recent adoption of amendments to the Penal Code. Under the new provisions, developed in collaboration with local civil society, attacks on journalists will…

EFJ organises conference on journalists’ safety to mark World Press Freedom Day

To mark World Press Freedom Day, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) organises a conference at Bozar on 2-3 May 2023, as part of its Safety4Journalists project. The 1.5 days final conference will highlight the good practices of safety in the media from unions, media employers, policy-makers and international experts. Experts will discuss the EFJ risk assessment tools to be launched on the day with a focus on what can be done by media managers, employers, journalist unions and associations, and national and international authorities to create a culture of health and safety at work in the media. Please find the…

Serbia: EFJ, IFJ and press freedom groups mark Slavko Ćuruvija murder anniversary

To mark the 24th anniversary of the murder of Serbian editor and publisher Slavko Ćuruvija, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and international press freedom organisations are today visiting Belgrade to renew our calls for justice and issue fresh warnings about the current climate for the safety of journalists. The mission to Belgrade comes 24 years after Ćuruvija was shot dead in cold blood outside his apartment on 11 April 1999, and a matter of weeks after the final hearings began in the retrial of four state security officials accused of planning and executing…

Press Freedom On The Line: the MFRR Summit 2023 full program

The MFRR Summit 2023 edition will take place online from the 29 – 31 March. The conference, “Press Freedom On The Line”, will focus on safety, media capture, the rule of law, and SLAPPs, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR)’s main campaigns areas. A large range of panel discussions, live interviews, and keynote speeches with journalists, media freedom experts, policy-makers, and other stakeholders all working to defend press freedom will take place during these two days. Read the full program here. Day 1 (29 March) With an opening word by Věra Jourová, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and…

Malta: Press freedom groups and journalists organisations urge PM to deliver strong media law reforms

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today 16 March 2023 joined media freedom organisations in writing to the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela urging his government to implement recommendations from the recent public consultation into draft media laws and to strengthen the planned legislation in line with international standards. Read the full letter below Dear Prime Minister Robert Abela, The undersigned international press freedom and journalists organisations are today writing to urge your government to follow up on the recent public consultation into media law reforms by implementing changes which will significantly strengthen the draft legislation. As the monthly memorial…