Urgent call to secure financial support for journalism and media literacy in EU budget

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with 16 press freedom, journalists, media literacy and media development organisations sent a letter to the German presidency of the Council of the European Union in light of the ongoing discussion on the EU budget and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The MMF covers the Creative Europe budget which includes support for independent media and journalism. The coalition likewise wrote to the European Parliament’s Budget Commission and to EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn responsible for Budget and Administration. The MFF regulation is adopted under a special legislative procedure, which requires unanimity to…

Bulgaria: Joint letter to condemn police violence and intimidation against journalists

Together with partner organisations, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) signed a letter to shed light on the repeated cases of police violence and intimidation against journalists in Bulgaria as well as the restrictions for the press to engage with lawmakers in the new headquarters of the Bulgarian National Assembly. The letter reads as follows: 24 September 2020 Dear Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria Dear Hristo Terziyski, Interior Minister of Bulgaria Dear Tsveta Karayancheva, Speaker of the National Assembly cc Diana Kovacheva, head of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria We, the undersigned partners of the Media Freedom…

Hungarian foreign ministry lists journalists’ trips abroad

In a letter dated 2 June 2020, József Magyar, the Hungarian deputy secretary of state for development of European affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs and trade, asked Hungarian embassies in the European Union to provide information about the professional visits of Hungarian journalists to the respective EU countries. The letter, unveiled on 21 September by the online news platform Telex, requests embassies to report professional visits, training courses and research trips for Hungarian journalists in recent years. Hungarian representations were asked to report when these trips abroad took place, which Hungarian media participated, and which organisations or press…

Albania: Prime Minister urged to rethink the controversial package of online media laws

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the MFRR partners reiterated their serious concern in a letter to Chairperson of the Albanian Parliament, Gramoz Ruçi and Albanian parliamentarians about the controversial package of online media laws amendments, which in their current form falls short of international law and standards. Dear Chairperson of the Parliament, Mr Gramoz Ruçi, Dear Honourable Members of Parliament, We are writing to express our grave concern about the apparent plans of the Parliament of Albania to ignore the issues raised in Venice Commission Opinion No. 980/2020 of 19 June 2020, further threatening press freedom and…

EFJ welcomes OSCE mission to Belarus

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the agreement reached on Thursday at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send an international expert mission to Belarus. As requested by the EFJ and Human Rights Watch on 26 August, finally 17 governments of OSCE participating states agreed on Thursday evening to activate the so-called “Moscow Mechanism”, which allows the OSCE to send an international expert mission to a state suspected of human rights violations. Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United…

Joint letter: ‘e-evidence’ regulation must protect journalists

Together with a coalition of 25 organisations and companies, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) urged members of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) to include strong procedural safeguards to protect journalists in the so called “e-evidence regulation”. The EFJ had expressed concern several times in the past about the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters (known as ‘e-evidence regulation’) as it could pose a serious threat for freedom of the media, freedom of expression and freedom of information without robust safeguards.  The signatories…

Ukraine: Call for action on 20th anniversary of murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze

On September 17, 2000, Georgiy Gongadze, well-known Ukrainian journalist and founder of popular Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, was murdered. His decapitated body was found on November 2, 2000, about 100 km from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Georgiy’s murder is considered by many to be the most important crime against a journalist in the history of independent Ukraine because the state’s highest leaders were involved in it. Concretely, the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The perpetrator, Oleksiy Pukach, a former general and high-ranking official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, is currently serving a jail sentence for…

Report It: Everyone can highlight threats against journalists, speak up and speak out

To protect press and media freedom, we need an accurate picture of the forces that threaten it. To do this, we must collect and verify as much information as possible. That is why the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has launched the ‘Report It’ campaign to create awareness and encourage everyone to play a role in documenting and reporting the many violations committed against journalists and media workers across Europe. It is wrong that such violations, abuses and aggressions have become so frequent as to be almost accepted as “situation:normal”. Through this campaign, the MFRR insists that this behaviour should…

Journalists and media workers restricted from reporting from the Moria camp

Since 9 September 2020, a number of journalists and photographers on the island of Lesbos have been intermittently restricted from reporting from an area where thousands of refugees and asylum seekers are being held without accommodation or sanitation after fires destroyed large areas of the Moria Registration and Identification Centre. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners wrote to Minister for Civil Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis and Police Lieutenant General Karamalakis calling for all journalists to safely access the relevant sites on Lesbos, in line with Greece’s obligations under international law. Dear Minister…