European Federation of Journalists

Croatian journalist Maja Sever elected EFJ President for a three-year mandate

Credit: EFJ

Croatian journalist and President of the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) Maja Sever was elected President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 14 June 2022 during the EFJ General Meeting taking place in Izmir, Turkey. Maja Sever succeeds Mogens Blicher Bjerregård from Denmark after three terms of three years each. Mustafa Kuleli (TGS, Turkey) was elected Vice-President.

Maja Sever, 50, started her professional career as a war reporter for Croatian public broadcaster HRT in ex-Yugoslavia. She then became a political reporter for different HRT news programs. She is now a senior journalist with more than 20 years of experience in public service media, currently a reporter for Sunday’s TV show Ndjeljelom u 2.

In 2018, Maja was elected “Journalist of the Year” by the professional journalists’ Association (HND). She was also a winner of the Pride of Croatia award for humanitarian work in 2020. Last year, she was awarded the Fierce women prize for her significant contribution to gender equality and social justice in Croatia.

Sever took over the leadership of her union TUCJ in 2019 and has been involved in EFJ activities since then. The same year, she was elected Vice-Chair of the Labour Rights Expert Group (LAREG). Her commitments to the EFJ include workers’ rights and local media issues in South-East Europe.

Reacting to her election, Maja Sever said: “I believe we are all here with a sincere will to fight for independent strong and quality journalism, to fight for journalists’ labour and social rights, to empower female journalists and to fight for journalism as a public good. And I believe you elected me to do that, for which I’m thankful.”

Outgoing President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård congratulated the new EFJ President: “I would like to congratulate Maja for her election, I’m really happy to pass on the baton to such a committed and true journalist and union leader. I’m confident she will do a great job and deliver results that will benefit all the affiliates in Europe.”

The Steering Committee is the political body of the EFJ. It is composed of nine members elected by the General Assembly every three years: Maja Sever (President), Mustafa Kuleli (Vice-President), Andrea Roth (DJV, Germany), Anna Del Freo (FNSI, Italy), Marta Barcenilla (CCOO, Spain), Pablo Aiquel (SNJ-CGT, France), Allan Boye Thulstrup (DJ, Denmark), Martine Simonis (AJP, Belgium) and Tim Dawson (NUJ, UK). Elected reserve members are: Sergiy Tomilenko (NUJU, Ukraine), Elena Tarifa (FeSP, Spain) and Joachim Kreibich (dju in ver.di, Germany).