European Federation of Journalists

EESC report points out decline of media freedom in Europe

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which is composed of three groups representing the EU’s trade unions, employers’ organisations and diverse civil society organisations, issued an interim report on fundamental rights and the rule of law in Romania, Hungary, Poland, Austria and France. This report highlights serious concerns regarding freedom of expression and the media as put forward by civil society in the targeted countries. Building on this newly published report, the EESC held in Brussels on 5 November a high-level conference on “Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law – Trends in the EU from a civil society…

Croatian journalist Danijel Majić attacked by extreme right-wing TV presenter in Austria

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) in condemning the physical and verbal attacks on the German newspaper The Frankfurter Rundschau journalist Danijel Majić on 18 May 2019 at the Bleiburg memorial in Austria. Majić was attacked by Velimir Bujanec, a Croatian extreme right-wing TV-presenter and a group of other people attending the memorial.  According to The Frankfurter Rundschau, Majić was reporting from the memorial service when he was recognised by Bujanec’s supporters. When Majić was leaving, Bujanec spit at him and the crowd attending the service began to insult him and kick at him.…

Austria: Ibiza video scandal shows vital role of journalism 

The European Federation of Journalists joins its affiliate in Austria, the Journalists’ Union in the GPA-djp, to urge politicians – not only in Austria but throughout Europe – to keep hands off from the media. On 17 May, the German publications Der Spiegel and Süddeutsche Zeitung published a video that shows by now former Vice-Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache, the FPÖ leader, and his parliamentary leader, Johann Gudenus, talking to a woman – purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch – about how she could invest in Austria. During the  meeting  in Ibiza, the woman…

EP Public hearing – Role of Independent Public Service Media for Democracy in Europe

Independence of Public Service Media (PSM) in Europe is under increased pressure in a number of the EU Member States. Destabilization of this democratic institution in the context of the overall challenges in Europe and weakening of other democratic institutions, such as political parties represents a real threat to the democracy in Europe. The PSM in Hungary is under the full control of Orban. In 2016 a political cleansing took place in the public service broadcaster in Poland followed by a political purge in the Croatian broadcaster. Recently the Czech Television is under pressure for rejection of their annual report,…

Austrian Interior Ministry attempts to restrict freedom of press

The intention of the Austrian Interior Ministry to restrict communication to “critical media” has been revealed in an email leaked to the press on Tuesday 25 September. In the four pages email, top ministry spokesman Christoph Pölzl, explicitly demanded regional police to “restrict communication with these media to only the most necessary (legally required) degree”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Austria, GPA-djp and Younion, in condemning this attack on press freedom. The media labeled as “critical” include the dailies Der Standard and Kurier as well as the weekly Falter. According to the Ministry, they have “operated…

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