EFJ position: EC Draft Guidelines on collective bargaining for self-employed

The European Federation of Journalists and its Freelance Expert Group has welcomed the European Commission’s initiative to address obstacles to collective bargaining on behalf of self-employed workers arising from competition law. The draft Guidelines aim to ensure that competition law does not stand in the way of collective agreements to improve the working conditions of certain self-employed persons, who may have little influence over their working conditions. The EFJ and many journalists’ organisations in Europe have responded to the first consultation on the draft guidelines released on 9 December 2021, based on the situation and experience freelancers and their representative bodies face throughout…

​Policy paper: How the EU can protect public watchdogs from abusive lawsuits

The Coalition Against SLAPPs in Europe (CASE), which reunites journalists, press freedom, and other rights groups – including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) – has been advocating for an EU anti-SLAPP directive for two years. As part of the public consultation launched by the European Commission, the CASE coalition has submitted the following policy paper to inform the upcoming EU initiative. Accessible here, the paper explains what SLAPPs are, provides preliminary and previously unpublished data from CASE research on SLAPPs mapping in Europe and sets out recommendations on what governments and the EU should do tackle the problem. Here…

EU Digital Services Act: journalistic content must be protected from interference by online platforms

Updated (03/12/2021) The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the proposed EU Digital Services Act as a long overdue and crucial tool to create a safer, fairer and more accountable online environment. The journalists’ community believes that the DSA must be stronger in order to guarantee a digital media ecosystem based on trust and audience engagement, in particular in the fight against disinformation. Today the platforms determine who sees when and what – based on their content recommendation systems, algorithms and terms and conditions. The power of the big platforms and gatekeepers has contributed to the market failure we face…

EFJ joins call for European Commission to strengthen Rule of Law report

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined 61 other organisations in a joint statement to ask the European Commission to strengthen its annual Rule of Law report.  The EFJ and its partners called for the EU to revise and amend the report with the view to examine more closely press freedom issues over Europe. With the aim of improving the credibility, inclusiveness and impact of the next Rule of Law report, the statement issued a set of recommendations, noting that this year’s report – published in July 2021 – “overlooked some serious media freedom issues, particularly related to the capture…

Webinar “Trust in media: Telework during and after the Covid-19 pandemic”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is hosting a series of webinars on teleworking and hybrid working during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. This new way of working has brought new challenges to journalists and media organisations, such as issues regarding the separation of work and private life at home in connection to mental health and the right to disconnect. As it has become clear that this “new normal” will last beyond the current health crisis, the webinars will discuss the challenges and address how journalists organisations and media employers should adapt. The webinars received financial support from UNESCO and the European…

EU Rule of Law report: Little bark, no bite

On 20 July, the European Commission published the 2021 Rule of Law Report. The document, which is the outcome of months of painstaking work, can be a valuable tool that empowers civil society, the EU institutions and Member State governments who care about the rule of law in the Union. The Report, comprised of a Communication that covers EU-wide developments and country chapters for each Member State, is designed “as a yearly cycle to promote the rule of law and to prevent problems from emerging or deepening and to address them … It seeks to strengthen the rule of law in…

Our submission for the European Commission Recommendations on the Safety of Journalists

Following the European News Media Forum, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), drafted a submission to the European Commission as part of their proposed Recommendations on the Safety of Journalists. The EFJ contributed to the MFRR submission (see PDF below) providing information and recommendations to the European Commission concerning the safety of journalists and media workers. This will feed into a recommendation to the Member States announced in the European Democracy Action Plan, which will seek to ensure better and targeted implementation of a number of requirements set out in the Council of…

Germany: Freelancers in urgent need of long-awaited financial support

The German Journalists Association (DJV) has conducted a survey on the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Freelance journalists in Germany. About one year after the beginning of the crisis, the results show that many freelance journalists face an increasingly precarious situationl due to insufficient support. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its German affiliates in drawing attention to this particularly vulnerable group of journalists and in calling for improved financial mechanisms to address this issue. Between 29 January and 19 February 2021, 1,090 freelance journalists participated in the study. It found that the average annual income of freelancers…

EFJ welcomes EU Democracy Action Plan but calls for stronger regulation of tech giants

Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, presented today the European Democracy Action Plan to empower citizens and build more resilient democracies across the EU. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the Action Plan and its concrete provisions to strengthen media freedom and pluralism, but calls for stronger regulation of Tech Giants, while protecting freedom of expression. The Action Plan sets out measures to strengthen media freedom and counter disinformation in the European Union. More concretely, the Commission will recommend measures to promote safety of journalists and present an initiative to protect them from strategic lawsuits against public participation…