European Federation of Journalists

Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All




22 October 2020


9:00 – 9:30: Introduction & welcoming

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President

Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director

Pablo Aiquel, co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group

Short introduction of all participants

9:30 – 10:30 Impact of Covid-19 on freelancers

This panel will discuss the economic and psychological impact on freelance journalists. What actions have been taken by journalists’ unions to support them?

Renske Heddema, President, Journalists’ Association of Netherlands (NVJ)

Charlotte Michils, Deputy General Secretary, Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgium, Flemish-speaking (VVJ)

Pablo Aiquel, Co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group, (SNJ-CGT)

Chair: Oddrun Midtbo, Co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group (NJ)

10:30 – 10:45: Coffee break

10:45 – 12:00 Collective bargaining for self-employed/freelancers – labour rights vs competition rules?

This panel will discuss the ‘conflict’ between ensuring the fundamental labour rights to collective bargaining for all and the EU competition rules. How can workers’ rights be ensured?

Anna Vernet, DG Competition, European Commission

Max Uebe, DG Employment, European Commission

Isabelle Schömann, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

Dearbhal Murphy, International Federation of Actors (FIA)

Chair: Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President

12:00 – 12:45 Lunch break 

12:45 – 13:45 Workshops

1. Organising freelancers in post-covid time? Challenges and opportunities

The working group will discuss challenges in organising freelances during / post Covid time. It will focus on finding innovative ways and campaigns initiated by unions and explore future opportunities.

Trainer: Becky Wright, Director, Unions 21

Facilitators: Yuk Lan Wong, EFJ Policy and Project Officer

2. Stress management

Participatory session to learn and experience some fundamentals about stress management and to explore why taking care of oneself may not be self-indulgence but a precondition for doing what one loves to do, with greater effectiveness and joy.

Trainer: Kim Brice, Leadership Coach, Resiliency and Stress Reduction Trainer

Facilitators: Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director

14:00 – 14:30: Conclusion with results from working groups, end of webinar


About the Panelists and Trainers:

Anna Vernet is Head of Unit for the unit for cooperation within the European Competition Network, cooperation with national Courts and Private Enforcement in DG Competition. The role of the unit is to ensure coherent and effective public and private enforcement in the EU. From 2009 to 2015 Anna was working as Policy Analyst in Directorate A of DG Competition dealing with antitrust policy. She started her career at the European Commission in 2004 by joining the telecommunications unit of DG Competition. Prior to working for the European Commission, Anna was in private practice where she was advising clients in various sectors on different aspects of competition law.


Max Uebe is Head of Unit “Employment Strategy” in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion since November 2015. The unit focuses on questions around the Future of Work (in particular platform work), youth employment, long-term unemployment and Public Employment Services. Between February 2012 and October 2015 Max was heading the unit responsible for Sectoral Employment Challenges, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, including Microfinance. He joined DG Employment after having spent more than 6 years in the Cabinets of Commissioners László Andor and Vladimír Špidla (both Commissioners for Employment and Social Affairs).


Dearbhal Murphy is the Deputy General Secretary of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), a position she has held since 2008. She coordinates the work of the EuroFIA group within FIA, bringing together performers unions, guilds and professional associations from across the EU and neighbouring countries. Her work centres on European policy-making in the field of labour, culture and social policy, as well as the European social dialogue and she has a special interest in issues pertaining to atypical work in the Arts and Entertainment sector and has coordinated a series of European projects exploring the different challenges and opportunities in this area. Dearbhal is an Irish national. Her academic background is in International Relations and political science with a DEA from Sciences-Po, Paris.



Becky Wright is the Executive Director of the London-based NGO Unions 21. In this position, she leads the organisation to deliver strategic aims and acts as representative to external contacts. Until earlier this year, she also worked as a Project Consultant and Trainer at the Federation of International Actors. Previously, she worked with TUC for over five years, where she filled different positions, the latest as Regional Education Officer. Becky’s skills include political communication, stakeholder engagement and volunteer management.


Kim Brice is a certified leadership coach, resiliency and stress reduction trainer. Prior to this, she worked as an activist, funder and advisor to many media and journalism support programmes around the world. She teaches what she has learned and practices that has supported her to navigate anxiety, day-to-day stress and trauma-related stress, due to her time working in conflict zones as well as personal life events. Kim co-created The Self-Investigation, an online stress management programme for journalists with the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mar Cabra. She also coaches, teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction and teaches dance under the company name Grace and Grit.



List of participants 22 October 2020

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