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  12 September 2019  

  European Briefing  

EFJ and the new Parliament: Setting the agenda 

In July, the EFJ met with several Members of the European (MEPs) to discuss the EFJ Manifesto and priorities for European journalism and media freedom. The EFJ also requested a meeting with the new President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, who was a journalist at the Italian public broadcaster RAI. Another important issue for the autumn will be the adoption of the Creative Europe budget for the period 2021–2027. The EU plans to pour in €61m dedicated to quality journalism (including media pluralism and media literacy) which will be approved by the European Parliament and Council. Meanwhile,  the idea of forming a Media Intergroup, an informal group of MEPs dedicated on specific sector, has been proposed. However, there is no consensus about the mandate, the scope and who would lead such a group. The EFJ has been consulted in some discussions around this issue. 

What will the new team of Commissioners look like?
(10.09.2019) The European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented the proposal of a new team of Commissioners and the new structure of the next Commission. Concerning our field, the names that we should keep in mind are: Věra Jourová (Czech Republic), Vice President and Values and Transparency portfolio; Margrethe Vestager (Denmark), Executive Vice-President and coordinator of the agenda on a "Europe fit for the digital age"; Sylvie Goulard (France), Internal Market portfolio); Nicolas Schmit (Luxembourg), Jobs portfolio; László Trócsányi (Hungary), Neighbourhood and Enlargement portfolio; Didier Reynders (Belgium), Justice portfolio; Mariya Gabriel (Bulgaria), Innovation and Youth portfolio; and Ylva Johansson (Sweden), Home Affairs portfolio. 
Next steps:
The European Parliament has to give its consent to the entire College of Commissioners. The hearings will start on September 30 before a final vote on the entire team at a plenary session in October. So nothing has completely set yet until November.

Consultation by the Committee of the Regions on the role of local media 

(04.09.2019) The Committee of the Regions consulted the EFJ on the Commission's proposal on strengthening the rule of law in the EU and the role of local media. Invited along with the IFJ and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the EFJ reinforced the idea of empowering local media that are especially suffering from economic and political pressures, as well as the importance of transparency and safety of journalists. The Rapporteur Franco Iacob expressed the Committee's belief that "funds for civil society and for independent media should be substantially increased". The meeting concluded that violations against independent media should be included in the review mechanism on the rule of law. 
European Labour Authority to enforce standards and conditions

(05.09.2018) The European Labour Authority (ELA), a new EU body set up and funded by the European Commission, will finally be launched in October to monitor and enforce labour standards. Its tasks range from facilitating access to information and cooperation between member states, to carrying out analyses and risk assessments concerning cross-border labour mobility and providing support in capacity building. The management board of the ELA will include EU social partners and independent experts. For more details, please visit here.


Copyright: France paves the way

(12.09.19) Following the adoption of the EU/ Copyright DSM Directive in April, France transposed in July Article 15 (new neighboring right for press publications) and related provisions in “law n ° 2019-775 creating a neighboring right for news agencies and press publishers”. It is short and very effective and includes fair provisions on journalists’ share of the revenue. The European Commission published a call for “Stakeholder Dialogue on the application of Article 17” (“value gap” - use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers ). The EC will bring together platforms and right holders on 15 October in Brussels to discuss and reach consensus on the implementation of Art. 17. The IFJ/EFJ applied to be part of the dialogue. A briefing to update member unions and support them in the context of the transposition of the directive is under preparation.


EFJ demands Montenegro to acquit journalist Jovo Martinović

(09.09.2019) The EFJ and other organisations demand the authorities of Montenegro to absolve investigative journalist Jovo Martinović, convicted for marijuana smuggling and criminal association and sentenced to 18 months in prison on January 15 despite overwhelming evidence that his only links with organised crime were those of a reporter. The appeal process will take place in the capital, Podgorica on September 12. Martinović is a specialist in covering organised crime for international media like The Economist, Financial Times, NPR or BBC, among others, and won the 2018 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. 


FNSI calls for more responsible media coverage of femicides

(09.09.2019) The Italian Journalists’ Union (FNSI – Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana) called on the media profession to improve media coverage of femicides after the publication of some controversial and gender-biased headlines of the murder of a woman. Anna del Freo, Deputy General Secretary of FNSI and member of the EFJ Steering Committee member, stated: “it is necessary that journalists start to use different words that are respectful for the victims, and apply the ‘Venice Manifesto’, which points to accurate information in cases of gender violence".


Mission to Istanbul & Ankara on media freedom

An international delegation of eight leading global press freedom and freedom of expression groups led by the International Press Institute (IPI), including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), PEN International, PEN Norway and Reporters without Borders (RSF) will take place in Turkey from the 11th to the 13th of September. The visit is in response to the ongoing critical situation for press freedom in Turkey. The EFJ will be represented by Steering Committee member Mustafa Kuleli, General Secretary of the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS). Read more.

  Work-Life Balance                                                   

ETUC demands an immediate implementation of the Work-Life Balance EU Directive

(12.06.2019) The ETUC urges the Member States to implement the new rights for working families presented in the  Work-Life Balance Directive by the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), adopted on June 13. The legislation tackles key aspects, such as career's and parental paid leaves and a shared responsibility for childcare as a result of the paternity leave.

EFJ in touch with the youth

(02.09.2019) The EFJ was invited to the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) by the Dutch Student Association for International Relations to discuss the "State of Play of Press Freedom in Europe" and the work of the EFJ in Brussels. About 50 young students listened and asked many questions on how the EFJ advocates for journalists' rights, the situation in Turkey; working conditions, media literacy, journalists' being trolls, disinformation and new digital business models. The debate also included how to best fight self-censorship by both commercial and political actors and how to promote better local journalism. No easy answers, but lots of interest! 

On 5 September, the EFJ received a group of young Swiss journalists in its Brussels office and discuss with them EU media policy and the EFJ priorities, in particular, how to reach out to young journalists. 


  Managing change in the media  

Final conference: what next for the future?

The project is finally coming to an end. Co-organised with the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH), this final conference will take place in Thessaloniki on 10-11 October and will be a good opportunity to build on the results of the four workshops and plan the future. A session will be dedicated to the young generation of journalists and unionists. We expect 60 participants including affiliates, MEPs and experts from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), broadcasters, publishers and academics.
Belgium: freelance fees remain as precarious as ten years ago

(08.08.2019) The recent study published by the Association des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP), Les tarifs de la pige, acknowledges that fees for freelance journalists of the French-speaking part of Belgium have dropped below standards. The payments in daily newspapers range from 0,02€ to 0,06€ per character and in the audio-visual sector, freelancers earn about 20€ to 30€ per hour. In order to overcome the problem, AJP has published a practical guide with all the information freelancers need and has launched an online platform with a fee calculator, a job board and news concerning the journalism sector. 


France: SNJ launches new journalists' defense guide

(23.06.2019) The Association de la presse judiciaire (APJ) and the Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ) have launched a Defense Guide for Journalists that will give a first advice to French journalists on how to respond to the police and judicial investigation measures that have increased recently, specially the ones related to the identification of journalists' sources. Here you can read a short and a long version of the Guide de défense des journalistes.

«Je suis journaliste: ma mission est d’informer le public. Mais les autorités peuvent voir d’un mauvais œil que je publie des informations confidentielles»


How do young media makers see the future of journalism?

The European Youth Press celebrates its 15th anniversary and launches a survey addressed to young journalists (under 35) to get an update on the lives of young media makers, to be able to advocate properly and to create accurate opportunities and trainings. You can answer the survey here

EFJ communications: we want your opinion!

In order to review our communication tools and to improve our services for our members, we kindly ask you to answer the EFJ communication survey. Please share with us your views by answering the survey here. It takes less than five minutes!


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Renate Schroeder