Journalists and press publishers are concerned by the latest e-evidence proposal

The European Federation of Journalists together with EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association and ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, acknowledge yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the Report for a Regulation on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic information in criminal proceedings (E-Evidence Regulation). Despite the efforts by the European Parliament to address several issues contained in the European Commission’s proposal, we regret that some key amendments have been rejected. As a result, the adopted report falls short of the necessary procedural safeguards to protect press and media freedom. This is…

EFJ and ETUC call for EU sanctions against Belarusian leaders

As announced by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, EU Heads of State or Government will discuss the situation in Belarus on Wednesday. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) again call on the EU Council to reintroduce commensurate sanctions for electoral fraud and violence against protesters and journalists in Belarus. The EFJ believes the EU must swiftly impose the sanctions it has threatened on individuals in the Lukashenko administration (including state media) and on Belarusian security forces complicit in the crackdown. Together with the ETUC and the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC),…

In Hungary EU funds are used to finance pro-government media

The political interference at Index, one of the last independent news outlets in Hungary, requires a strong reaction from the leaders of the European Union. The move contravenes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is a legally binding charter. The EU should feel responsible: issued on Thursday, the EU Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2020) states that “EU-funds are constantly used to finance pro-government media and spread anti-EU messages” in Hungary. Inaction on behalf of the EU leaders allows Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to tighten his authoritarian grip. Yesterday, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its Media Freedom Rapid…

Hungary: journalists at Index resign, EU must take action

Thousands of people took to the streets in Budapest on Friday evening to demonstrate against the attacks on Hungary’s biggest independent news portal “Index”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this protest march and calls on European leaders to protect media freedom in Hungary. The editorial board and more than 70 journalists at “Index” have resigned, two days after its editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull was fired amid claims of political interference. On Friday, three leading editors and more than 70 others said they were ending their employment there, because board president Laszlo Bodolai had refused to reinstate the chief editor. The…

MPM2020: poor working conditions for journalists in 13 European countries

The 2020 Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2020) confirms mounting harassment against journalists, media outlets face increasing economic uncertainty, as online media sphere fails to reinforce pluralism. The report points out a deteriorating situation regarding the standards and protection of the journalistic profession. Croatia, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Albania, Italy, Slovenia, Malta, Ireland and France score as being at medium risk and Turkey as high risk for this indicator. The sub-indicator on journalists’ working conditions scores an alarming high risk in 13 countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The European University Institute (EUI)…

#Disinformation: EFJ calls on EU for rapid support for journalism

“Journalists are in the frontline in the fight against disinformation,” said yesterday Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency in the European Commission. “We are calling on Member States to ensure that they can work safely, in the right conditions, and to make the most of the EU recovery package to support media while respecting their independence.” Yesterday’s Commission communication on fight against COVID-19 disinformation includes a chapter on ensuring freedom of expression with strong messages on the importance of journalists, free and independent media, access to information, transparency and accountability. “The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the crucial role of…

Věra Jourová: “Journalists need right working conditions”

The European federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes today’s statement from the Vice-President of the European Commission, Věra Jourová, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May. She calls on the governments of the EU Member States to support the media sector. “Member States have the tools available, with the support of the Commission, to help the media sector. And I will do all I can to ensure media are an important element of the European recovery package. Today I ask governments to make sure that journalists are able to work in the right conditions,” she said. Věra…

World Intellectual Property Day 2020: “Some are trying to water down the EU Copyright Directive”

On World Intellectual Property Day 2020, April 26, the European and International Federations of journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are putting the spotlight on the so-called “publishers’ right”, one of the key achievements of the EU Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market, interviewing three copyright experts of the EFJ Authors’ Rights Experts Group (AREG). Michael Khlem,Senior advisor of the Deutsche Journalisten-Verband (DJV), the German Journalists Association, one of the largest journalists’ organizations in Europe. Olivier Da Lage, a journalist at Radio France International and board member of the Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ), and a member of the Conseil supérieur de la…

Hungary: EFJ urges again the EU to condemn limits on freedom of information

In the wake of our discussion on Friday with the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed again today its serious concerns about the sweeping powers granted to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a parliamentary vote approving indefinite rule by decree and jail terms for spreading misinformation. The EFJ fully supports the petition “No Quarantine for Democracy!” developed with MEPs (including Ramona Strugariu, Stelios Kouloglou, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Lara Wolters and Guy Verhofstadt), which is calling on all EU Member States to ensure reinforced protections for journalists, the media…