Building Strong Journalists Unions in Eastern Europe

Objective : To build stronger, more effective journalists’ trade unions in the target countries of Eastern Europe


Each year the project conducts the following national and regional programmes: National programmes: each national union will have an in-country programme focused on TU development, recruitment and representation.

These programmes will include :

– One TU leadership workshop
– A programme of union recruitment / rights awareness seminars
– Recruitment / rights awareness materials
– Legal advice
– Database on membership / rights / safety of journalists
– Regional Programme: one regional meeting a year to review project progress and campaigns. Includes production of a gender tool-kit for Eastern Europe unions.


Journalists Unions in Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

Expected results

In each of the nine target countries the following results will be expected :

1. Increased membership by 10 to 30%
2. Establishment of in house membership databases – legal cases on breaches of employment laws won strengthening respect for labour rights
3. Strengthened network of journalists unions across the East European region leading to exchange of best practice between unions organising in similar conditions
4. Production of a gender took-kit for unions on increased women participation, leadership, bullying and harassment
5. Enhanced leadership skills of union including knowledge of key labour rights issues including
a. Labour rights and Freelance
b. Author’s rights
c. New media and Broadcasting


Confronting the crisis of transparency and censorship facing journalism in Serbia

A mission to Serbia by the Ethical Journalism Network and the European Federation of Journalists this month has called for urgent action to strengthen journalism and independent media across the country. Aidan White, EJN Director, and EFJ Project Officer Mehmet Koksal talked with media leaders and journalism support groups during their visit on September 16-17. They found that problems of political bias, lack of transparency in ownership, manipulated state funding for favoured media, and a desperately weak economic situation all contribute to a deeply flawed media system. “The media crisis cannot be allowed to get worse,” said White. “It poisons…

What journalists unions, governments and employers must do to defend freedom of association ?

Journalists from across the Balkans and Eastern Europe met in Belgrade (Serbia) on 10-11 October 2015 to discuss the status of journalism in the region and the campaign for freedom of association to enable journalists to freely organise in unions. They discussed the struggles facing journalists, the precariousness of their employment, the low salaries and poor contracts the hostility of employers to journalists unions and the pervading climate of insecurity and fear. This is a struggle not just for improved conditions for journalists, but for a healthy and vibrant journalists sector that can play its democratic role in serving the…