Nine international organisations urge EU officials to raise Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis during EU-Turkey high political dialogue

To the attention of:  EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Federica Mogherini,  EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn,  We, the undersigned organisations, urge the addressed European Union (EU) officials to discuss Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis and fractured rule of law during their high level political dialogue with the Turkish government on 22 November 2018.  More than 160 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey today, with hundreds more on trial for exercising their right to freedom of expression. In 2018, the World Press Freedom Index…

Speak up! 3 conference: Freedom of expression in the Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists, represented by its President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård and Director Renate Schroeder will participate in an international conference on freedom of expression in the Western Balkans and Turkey held today at the European Commission. The Speak Up! 3 conference will bring together journalists, media analysts, decision-makers from the enlargement countries, experts from international, regional and national organizations to discuss achievements and challenges to media freedom. The EFJ affiliates from Western Balkans and Turkey will also participate in the conference. The conference will be broadcast live. To follow the debate, you can also follow the Twitter hashtag #SpeakUp3. Here is the…

EFJ and creators meet EP President Martin Schulz

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz has met with a delegation of creators’ organisations including the EFJ President, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård and presidents of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ESCA), Euroepan Writers Council and the Federation of Europeam Film Directors (FERA) and the European Federation of Screenwriters (FSE) to discuss the upcoming Digital Single Market Strategy being prepared by the European Commission. The delegation highlighted the importance of strong authors’ rights protection in the current intellectual property rights debate, the role of creators in European economy and the need to foster cultural diversity. During the meeting, Blicher…

Commission to assess EU audiovisual rules on media pluralism and independence of media regulators

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to assess current EU law on audiovisual media (Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2010/13/EU – AVMSD) to check if the current legislation is up-to-date for media in the digital era. According to the Commission’s communications, the consultation focuses on the following key topics: providing rules to shape technological developments creating a level playing field for emerging audiovisual media preserving cultural diversity protecting children and consumers safeguarding media pluralism combating racial and religious hatred guaranteeing the independence of national media regulators. During the review, stakeholders will be asked how effective the current law in…

Freedom of panoramas under threat

Plenary session of the European Parliament on 9 July 2015 We will not limit #FreedomofPanorama. People can take pictures of whatever they see in public places #EPlenary #copyright @Senficon — Günther H. Oettinger (@GOettingerEU) July 9, 2015     The European Parliament is likely to adopt an initiative report that could potentially hamper the right of press photographers to take photographs in public spaces, the International and the European Federation of journalists have warned. The report, drafted by the German Eurodeputy Julia Reda, makes a number of proposals to amend authors’ rights legislation in the EU as a contribution to…

Oettinger: “Lack of media freedom and pluralism affects negatively media and creative industries”

Attending the Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum 2015 in Bonn (22/06/2015), the European Commissioner Günther Oettinger referred in his speech to “media freedom and pluralism” as a “crucial value for the EU”. To give examples of concrete steps, the Commissioner mentioned different EU projects involving the active participation of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). “Whether a media outlet is so-called traditional or online, media practitioners will always have to be warranted the right to report facts and offer their views and opinions. Political pressure, economic hardship, physical attacks against journalists, restrictive legislation, and a general financial crisis in the sector all influence…

Journalists detained in Turkey… again !

Police forces in Turkey have today (14/12/2014) raided media outlets (Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu Television) known to be close to a US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. At least 23 people, including journalists and television producers, have been detained so far in Istanbul and elsewhere in the country and are apparently being accused of forming a criminal organization. Commenting this new operation, the Secretary General of the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS, an EFJ affiliate) Mustafa Kuleli reminded that “this operation is performed just a few days before the first anniversary of the bribery and corruption scandal (known as “17 December”…

The EFJ delegation (on the right) including General Secretary Ricardo Gutierrez, President Mogens Blicher Bjerrregård, Director Renate Schroeder met with the European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and his cabinet. © EFJ

EC First Vice-President backs journalists to promote quality journalism and reinstall journalism as a public good

(Brussels, 28 November 2014) The First Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, has told a delegation from the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) that sustaining quality journalism and putting Europe’s media freedom back on track will be high on his agenda. Mr Timmermans, the First Vice-President who is also the EU Commissioner in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights highlighted that the financial crisis in the European media industry is affecting journalists’ rights, jobs and journalism as a public good. “Preserving reliable and quality information is an existential question for…

Commission Asked to Introduce Levies on Cloud Computing Devices

The EFJ has sent a joint letter to the European Commission along with twelves other authors’ organisations representing the creative workforce demanding the Commission to create a special private copying levy on cloud computing services. The call came after the Directorate General of the Commission responsible for Digital Agenda (DG CONNECT) in Europe launched a public consultation regarding cloud computing. The group explained that copies made via cloud computing services have the same purpose (private use) as the copies made by private individuals on their phones, tablets, USB sticks.  Therefore, they should be subject to the same levy system applied…