EFJ welcomes OSCE mission to Belarus

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the agreement reached on Thursday at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send an international expert mission to Belarus. As requested by the EFJ and Human Rights Watch on 26 August, finally 17 governments of OSCE participating states agreed on Thursday evening to activate the so-called “Moscow Mechanism”, which allows the OSCE to send an international expert mission to a state suspected of human rights violations. Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United…

Statement in support of the mandate of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

We, the undersigned organisations, are deeply concerned by the decision of the representatives of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan to block the renewal of the mandate of Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM). We respect the need for a consensus vote of all member states of the OSCE on the mandate renewal as an important commitment of all OSCE participating States to abide by their commitments to freedom of expression and free media. We understand the move by Azerbaijan and Tajikistan is an attempt to weaken the essential watchdog function of the mandate. Our organisations have worked closely…

EFJ calls on States to implement OSCE Decision on Safety of Journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was invited today to introduce the working session on freedom of the media at the OSCE 2nd Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM). The EFJ called on the OSCE Participating States to fully implement the 2018 Ministerial Council Decision for the safety of journalists. “Hundreds of media outlets are under threat, starting with local media, which are simply in danger of disappearing for lack of financial support. Tens of thousands of journalists have been put on temporary unemployment. And tens of thousands of independent journalists have been deprived of any income for the past three…

UN and OSCE media freedom watchdogs raised concerns over the EU whistleblowing directive

In a letter sent on 5 March to the European institutions, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, raised concerns about three aspects of the draft directive on the protection of whistleblowers. This letter is published as the negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission are in the final stretch. The last trilogue meeting will be on Monday 11 March. The tiered reporting system This is the main…

“Words That Matter” – glossary by Cypriot journalists to address local issues

On 10th of July in Nicosia, the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM) in cooperation with the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), and several local journalists, including members of EFJ affiliates Basin-Sen and Union of Cyprus Journalists,  has published “Words That Matter“, a trilingual glossary in English, Greek, and Turkish, to list phrases and words, used by the journalists in communities, which may be taken sensitively. The glossary resulted from a common effort between the organisations to minimise hate speech in journalism, as well as trying to overcome the long-lasting tensions between Greek Cypriot and Turkish…

Ukraine needs a national action plan for the safety of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the Ukrainian government to launch a national action plan for the protection of journalists, in cooperation with Ukrainian journalists’ unions. Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the EFJ, attended the OSCE expert conference, organised in Kiev, on 26 June, by the OSCE Representative on Media Freedom, Harlem Désir. Pointing out the deterioration of media freedom in the country, since 2015, Gutiérrez called on Ukrainian authorities to launch an action plan for the safety of journalists, together with all the relevant stakeholders, including the EFJ affiliates in the country, the National Union of Journalists…

Free European Media: Let’s join forces for freedom of the press!

Over 120 journalists, representatives of journalists’ organisations, national media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians, and civil society activists gathered on 15-16 February at the Solidarność Centre in Gdansk, Poland, for a conference on “Free European Media”. The event has concluded with a number of proposed steps, including the need to strengthen partnerships between all stakeholders. The event has been organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with the Council of Europe (CoE), the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI), with the support…

Harlem Désir’s speech at Free European Media

This is the keynote speech given by Harlem Désir, Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018.   Mr. President of the European Federation of Journalists, Mogens Bjerregård, M. President of the City of Gdansk, Pawel Adamovicz, Mr. Director Basil Kerski, who welcomed me at the European Solidarity Centre two years ago, Dear Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez, Dear Director Patrick Penninckx, Ladies and gentlemen, It is a great pleasure for me to be back in Gdansk, a free city since centuries, and to have the opportunity to speak with…

OSCE Media Freedom Representative building new coalition defending media freedom

A coalition of international journalist and media freedom organisations, as well as intergovernmental institutions have gathered in Brussels on 5 September under the initiative of Harlem Désir, the newly appointed OSCE Media Freedom Representative, and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to discuss challenges and develop new ideas for cooperation to defend media freedom across Europe. The attended organisations included Access Now, Article 19, Association of European Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, European Federation of Journalists, European Digital Rights, IFEX, International Federation of Journalists, Index on Censorship, International News Safety Institute, International Press Institute, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders as well as David Kaye the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of…