European Federation of Journalists


The importance of cooperation between freelancers across borders in Europe has increased over the years. Colleagues inspire each other; union workers share ideas and experiences.

Contracts and fees, training, authors’ rights, and professional standards are all key issues for the growing – and ever more precarious- freelance community of journalists. Innovative financing models, which can give freelance journalists new possibilities/niches in media, are being explored by the EFJ and its affiliates.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) Authors’ Rights Expert Group (AREG) and the Freelance Experts’ Group (FREG) strive to defend and to promote freelance rights. We say to our staff colleagues: in order to defend your rights and conditions of work, you can do nothing more effective than to promote the highest standards for freelances.

The Freelance Experts’ Group’s focus for the coming years’ is based on the EFJ’s working programme:

  • collective bargaining for all, including freelancers;
  • ensure competition law does not undermine the right to collective bargaining;
  • organising and training for freelances including on safety.

Links to freelance sites of our unions


Germany: Unions urge government to support small media and freelancers in funding scheme for media

The German Association of Journalists (DJV) has called on the Federal Ministry of Economics to link the agreed press funding to certain conditions in order to countervail media concentration and preference of large media groups. In July, the German parliament decided to provide publishers with a funding of €220 million over several years, most probably starting in 2021. This support is primarily aimed at the digital transformation of the publishing industry. However, previously agreed support specifically for the delivery of daily newspapers will not be made available. This is in the context where publishers complain that the delivery of printed press…

Takeaways from the Online Freelance Seminar on 22 October

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, freelance journalists across Europe have been greatly impacted with reduced paid work and often isolation. For the “Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All”, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) gathered over 30 journalists’ representatives, freelance journalists and their organisers, EU policy-makers and experts to discuss such impacts on their working conditions and explore ways to support them. The seminar kicked off with a panel led by Oddrun Midtbø (Norwegian Union of Journalists, NJ) with Renske Heddema, (Dutch Journalists’ Association, NVJ), Charlotte Michils (Flemish Association of Journalists, VVJ) and Pablo Aiquel (French National…

Online Freelance Seminar: Equal Treatment for All

Agenda   22 October 2020   9:00 – 9:30: Introduction & welcoming Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director Pablo Aiquel, co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group Short introduction of all participants 9:30 – 10:30 Impact of Covid-19 on freelancers This panel will discuss the economic and psychological impact on freelance journalists. What actions have been taken by journalists’ unions to support them? Renske Heddema, President, Journalists’ Association of Netherlands (NVJ) Charlotte Michils, Deputy General Secretary, Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgium, Flemish-speaking (VVJ) Pablo Aiquel, Co-chair of EFJ Freelance Expert Group, (SNJ-CGT) Chair: Oddrun Midtbo, Co-chair of EFJ…

Freelance Journalism Assembly launched to offer free online training and more

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the “Freelance Journalism Assembly”, a free of charge programme to train and connect freelance journalists in Europe. The ambitious programme is organised by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The original conference was planned in Berlin, which is why several German organisations have partnered including both EFJ affiliates the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the Deutsche Journalistinnen- and the Journalisten-Union (DJU). The programme consists of four tracks, each one covering one topic essential to freelance journalists: personal branding, personal finances, well-being, and pitching and negotiation. Each track includes activities…

Covid-19: Freelance packages negotiated in UK

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has congratulated the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK & Ireland, for contributing to the successful negotiation of the financial packages for freelances affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. On 26 March, the British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, annouced that the government will pay self-employed people who are adversely affected by the coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years. The maximum per month will be  £2,500. The scheme will be open to anyone with an income up to £50,000, but only those who…

COVID-19: It is time to guarantee social security for all

UPDATE: In Denmark, freelancers and self-employed journalists who can justify a loss of more than 30% of their income will receive 75% compensation from the State (no more than 3000€ per month) between 8 March and 8 July. Amids the Corona Virus Disease pandemic (COVID-19), European governments, EU institutions and social partners take emergency measures to protect workers’ health and lives and avoid an unprecedented economic downturn. EFJ affiliates are working hard to protect their members including the growing number of freelancers. On March 20, the European Federation of Journalists’ Freelance Expert Group (FREG) had its first online meeting focusing…