European elections 2019: EFJ Manifesto calls to endorse 8 principles for free media

On 26 May, European citizens will elect their Members of the European Parliament (MEP) to represent them at the new European Parliament. During the campaign, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is launching its Manifesto calling on all candidate MEPs to commit for the revival of a free and pluralistic media in Europe, so urgent in times of disinformation and losing trust in EU institutions. The 2019 EP elections come at a turning point for the European Union which urgently needs to reconnect with its citizens and represent their interests. We wish a forward-looking EU where not only the economy…

EP report highlights whistleblowing is crucial for investigative journalism

In its 2017 annual report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union, voted on 16 January, the European Parliament (EP) is acknowledging the deterioration of media freedom in its Member States. The report also reaffirms that “media freedom, pluralism and independence are crucial components of the right of freedom of expression and are vital to the democratic functioning of the EU and its Member States” and therefore demands that its Member States actively ensure the safety of journalists and provide the adequate working conditions. It remarks there are too few policies at the national level to protect…

Italy: increasing attacks against status of journalists

On 27 November, Italian MEP Isabella De Monte (S&D) organised the event “The challenges of European Journalism”, taking as an example the recent problems of Italian journalism, such as politicians’ attempts to undermine public media credibility and the difficult economic situation of Italian journalists and media, to discuss about the more widespread attacks to free press throughout Europe. An issue that has to be addressed right now before the European elections with disinformation on the rise said De Monte. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its director Renate Schroeder, participating together with Raffaele Lorusso, general secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa…

The European Parliament calls for free press in Belarus

On 4 October, the European Parliament unanimously approved a resolution “on deterioration of media freedom in Belarus, notably the case of Charter 97” condemning the current situation of press freedom in Belarus, where independent news outlet and journalists suffer constant detention and state harassment. The resolution addresses the Belarusian government’s decision to block the internet access to the news website Charter 97 as well as pressures against journalists, freelancers and independent media. It calls on the EU institutions to monitor the situation of media freedom within the country and to condition the negotiations with Belarussian government to its commitment for the independence…

Conference Fact-checking European elections

The intention of this conference is to discuss challenges and possible solutions to: Fact checking European elections – lessons from the past, looking into the future Working with data from social media companies and EU Institutions Common areas of EU disinformation – the examples of migration and the EU budget Practical cooperation among European fact checkers Draft programme Thursday, 27 September 2018 8.00 – 9.00 Arrival and registration. Coffee provided inside the meeting room. Venue: ASP 3G2 9.00 – 9.30 Opening by Antonio TAJANI, President of the European Parliament and Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Followed by…

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,…

The EU General Court denies a group of journalists access to MEPs’ expenses

The General Court of the European Union ruled on 25 September 2018 that MEPs expenses can remain secret. The highest court confirmed the European Parliament’s refusal to give access to documents related to MEPs’ expenses to a group of journalists, claiming that this would undermine MEPs’ personal privacy. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this decision and renews its call to improve transparency and access to information in the European Union. The request was forwarded to the European Parliament (EP) in 2015 by a group of 29 journalists, who wanted to access information on the MEPs’ spending records. According to Euractiv,…