Hungary should be sanctioned for violating the Rule of Law, said the European Parliament

For the first time, members of the European Parliament called on the European Union to sanction one of its Member States, Hungary, on Wednesday 12 September. The government led by Prime Minister Victor Orban was accused of silencing independent media, targeting NGOs and removing independent judges, among other violations of democracy and common European values. The text adopted outlines in particular the bad state of freedom of expression in Hungary and the situation of Hungarian media since 2011, which has been constantly raising concerns on the issues of concentration and politicisation of media ownership; media law; self-censorship; denial of accreditation;  targeting of journalists; and…

European Parliament approves new Copyright Directive

The European Parliament today overwhelmingly approved the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM) – a major step forward in protecting authors’ rights. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) warmly welcomed the vote which is crucial to ensuring that journalists can make a living from their work and remain independent in their reporting. Independent journalists are essential to the good functioning of democratic societies. Members of the European Parliament today voted in favour of the European Parliament’s legal affairs Committee (JURI) report on the Commission’s proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market with 438 for,…

European Authors call on MEPs to maintain their strong support to authors’ rights

The European organisations representing authors have acknowledged the decision of the European Parliament to postpone the adoption of its position on the Copyright Directive. The Authors’ Group now calls on MEPs to maintain their strong and cross-party support to reinforce the contractual position of authors in Europe so that the Copyright Directive can soon bring concrete benefits to authors’ rights in the European Union. The Authors’ Group represents more than half a million writers, composers, journalists, film directors, screenwriters and songwriters in Europe. Today, the European Parliament decided to postpone the adoption of its position on a Proposal for a Directive…

Six MEPs call for new EU directive against lawsuits targeting journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the letter sent to Frans Timmerman, the vice-president of the European commission, initiated by six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)  on 19 February 2018 who called for the introduction of a new EU directive that addresses Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) towards journalists. The letter was signed by the following MEPs: David Casa (European People’s Party), Ana Gomes (Socialists and Democrats), Monica Macovei (European Conservatives and Reformists), Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats), Stelios Kouloglou (European United Left, GUE/NGL), and Benedek Jávor (Greens). The proposed EU Anti-SLAPP directive would aim to protect journalists from vexatious, abusive lawsuits and other…

EFJ calls on MEPs to strengthen independence of audio-visual regulators in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today expressed growing concerns over recent amendments to weaken the independence of national regulatory authorities in the review of the EU regulation on audio-visual media (AVMSD Directive 2010/13/EU). The EFJ has called on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to reject amendments that would weaken the independence of national regulatory authorities and the  European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA). Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary, said, ‘‘We are very surprised to see several amendments attempting to weaken the provision to guarantee the independence of national regulatory authorities. This is completely contradictory to…

Ensuring a fair digital single market: Independence of media regulators

A debate on the revision of the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the independence of media regulatory authorities will be hosted by the European Parliament by MEP Sabine Verheyen on 7 December. The aim of the meeting is to provide MEPs and other stakeholders with an overview of the key challenges to be addressed in the revision. The European Commission recently conducted a public consultation (closed 30 September 2015) and is currently preparing revisions to the Directive which will then be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The meeting will include contributions from Lorena Boix Alonso, Head of Unit,…

Trade Secrets: Legitimate use for journalists or not is still the question

In view of the ongoing trilogue negotiations, informal tripartite meetings attended by representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on reaching the proposal for an EU directive (also know as trade secrets directive) “on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure”, journalists’ and media organisations expressed their concern regarding a potential damaging impact on press freedom. A letter has been sent to the rapporteur, shadow-rapporteurs, members of the European Parliament of the Legal Committee, the Permanent representatives of the EU member states (COREPER) and relevant  contacts in the European…

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…

European Parliament fails to improve the contractual position of authors

The European Parliament’s initiative report  to make proposal to reform EU copyright/authors’ rights law fails to improve the contractual position of authors and performers. The report adopted in the plenary session yesterday in Strasbourg was drafted by German Eurodeputy Julia Reda and is the result of months of lobbying and heated debates in the hemicycle. The adopted text makes a number of proposals to amend authors’ rights legislation in the EU as a contribution to the European Commission’s upcoming revision package on authors’ rights to be issued by the end of 2015. While the adopted text makes a specific call…

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…

EFJ calls on MEPs to uphold public interests over trade secrets

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with media organisations have called on members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to amend a draft European Directive on trade secrets that could prevents journalists from exercising their rights to freedom of expression and hamper the rights of citizens to be informed. According to the latest discussion at the European Parliament, the draft directive contains exceptions that set out in which circumstances a journalist can disclose information that is considered trade secrets. It also includes a recital that requires Member States of the European Union (EU) to respect Article 11 (2) of the…

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