European Federation of Journalists

Media Freedom Rapid Response

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is a partner of Media Freedom Rapid Response project (MFRR) aiming to promote an independent, pluralistic media landscape, to safeguard media workers, especially harassed female media workers and to protect the rights of journalists. The RRM helps to mitigate the consequences of the recently observed deterioration of media freedom in several European Union, Member States and Candidate Countries.

Overall Objective

The overall objective of this project is to provide practical support for journalists to improve media freedom in Europe.

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is designed to detect, answer and prevent violations of press and media freedom. It consists of three layers: monitoring, categorisation, responses.

Specific objectives

1. Mapping Media Freedom (MMF) in Europe (EU & Candidate Countries): Media violations are on the rise especially under the current coronavirus crisis. One of the key components of the project is to monitor and document a wide range of media violations conducted by any actors, whether individuals, state actors or business, so that actions can be taken rapidly to address the violations.

2. Practical supports: Based on the media violations reported, the project offers a wide range of immediate to long-term, practical support ranging from legal help, safety advice and training, safe house for journalists, advocacy and mission, and online resources. You could find more information about the legal support here and more details about safe house for journalists here.

3. Advocacy & Trial Monitoring: Joint media advocacy will also be carried out by the project including joint statements, national missions (in Czech Republic, Hungry, Spain, Serbia), roundtable advocacy meetings with EU policy-makers. The EFJ will involve the relevant national members when carrying out such national missions. Trial Monitoring especially for Turkey, Malta (for the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia) and Slovakia (for the case of Ján Kuciak) will be carried out and participated by the project partners to help find justice for journalists who are put in jails or murdered.

Anyone can submit and report a media violation to the MMF platform online.

Actions

EU Court of Justice decision to “invalidate” transparency in beneficial ownership is a blow to the right to know

In a landmark decision on 22 November 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the EU anti-money laundering directive’s provisions on access to beneficial ownership registers are “invalid”. The court found that the directive (AMLD5, 2018) interferes with the privacy and personal data protection rights of beneficial owners and should therefore not be made available to a wide public. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounced a decision restricting the freedom of information in favour of business interests. The European legislation was adopted in 2015 with the objective to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by…

The statue outside the headquarters of Slovenian public broadcaster Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO) in the capital Ljubljana

Slovenia: Media freedom groups back legislative efforts to depoliticise public media

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with other international media freedom and journalists’ organisations, today outlined their tentative support for reform of the law on Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO) and the urgent need to depoliticise the public service media and their oversight bodies amidst continued threats to their independence. The undersigned organisations welcome the initiative of the new coalition government to reduce the influence of politics on the broadcaster’s operations and foster an enabling climate for its public service mission. Events of the last few years at RTV SLO have provided a clear illustration of why such changes are…

Bulgaria: ‘Foreign agent’ bill threatens media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the undersigned international media freedom and journalists organisations in raising the alarm over a draft law submitted to Bulgarian parliament by the far-right Vazrazhdane (Revival) party which would introduce a Russian-style “foreign agent” law involving potential sanctions for media outlets that receive funding from abroad. The draft legislation has been developed by the pro-Russian Vazrazhdane party, which became the fourth largest faction in parliament in the recent elections and is currently in negotiations to form a coalition government. While the passing of the law in the current political climate remains doubtful, it nonetheless…

Belgium: New platform for journalists’ safety

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the launch of a new project by Flemish Association of Journalists (VVJ). The new project called Meldpunt, developing on the pre-existing website Persveilig.be, give the opportunity to Flemish journalists and media workers to report any attack that they face in the context of their work via an online form. The project has been thought out with the close cooperation of all competent ministers (Flemish minister of media Benjamin Dalle, federal justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne and minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden). It focuses on multiple domains: submission of alerts, sensitisation, training and information on topics such as…

Italy: Concern about prosecutor’s demand for prison sentence for journalists over factual reporting

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned media freedom and journalist associations today express shared concern over an Italian prosecutor’s request for a six-month prison sentence in a case of defamation through the press involving three journalists. The lawsuit had been filed in response to their reporting on a labour lawsuit associated with a former minister. Prison sentences in cases of defamation through the press have been declared unconstitutional by the Italian Constitutional Court in 2021, except for cases of exceptional gravity. No journalist should face nor fear prison sentences for having published factual information in the public…

Greece: SLAPP award winner Grigoris Dimitriadis urged to drop defamation lawsuit

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partner media freedom and journalist organisations in writing to Grigoris Dimitriadis, the former general secretary of the office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, about SLAPP lawsuits he filed against investigative media and journalists.   RE: Letter from international press freedom organisations 21 October 2022 Dear Grigoris Dimitriadis,   The undersigned international media freedom and journalists organisations are writing to you to express our shared concern about defamation claims filed against investigative journalists and media outlets following your resignation from the role of general secretary in the office of the Greek Prime Minister in…