The European Commission co-funds projects to promote media freedom, investigative journalism and defend journalists under threat.

On 2 July 2020, The European Commission published a Call for proposals for a Pilot Project establishing an Exchange of media 'rising stars' to speed up innovation and increase cross-border coverage.

The main objective of the Pilot Project under this call is to facilitate the mobility of media professionals and cross-border cooperation between such professionals and media outlets as a means to promote innovation in the European media sector and foster an environment conducive to quality journalism and media pluralism.

On 15 June 2020, The European Commission published a Call for proposals for a Pilot Project on Internship opportunities for Minority Language Media.

The objective of the Pilot Project under this call is to provide media professionals working at minority language media outlets across Europe with the opportunity to undertake internships with European media houses.This will contribute to the professionalization of minority language media and enable participants to gain a broader and more comprehensive understanding of different media and newsroom cultures. As quality news and a diversity of views are essential to democracy, the project aims i) to contribute to quality journalism by enhancing journalists' skills and ii) to enhance media pluralism via a greater variety of opinions and voices.

On 18 July 2019, The European Commission published a Call for proposals for Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions conducting the following actions:

Action 1 - Pilot Project: A Europe-wide response mechanism for violation of press and media freedom

The Europe-wide rapid response mechanism for violations of press and media freedom will be geared at mitigating the consequences of the recently observed deterioration of press and media freedom in certain EU Member States and Candidate Countries. It will provide tangible protection for journalists and will encompass fact-finding, advocacy, monitoring, informing the European public and awareness raising. This action will bring violations to the forefront, and will provide practical help to journalists under threat. It will be carried out in collaboration with European, regional and local stakeholders in the field of media freedom.

This action is expected to support the activities of one consortium of organisations working together to uphold media freedom and safety of journalists in the EU and Candidate Countries.

Total budget for Action 1: 1.400.000 €

The selected project started on 1 March 2020.

Action 2 - Preparatory Action: cross-border investigative journalism fund

The action will fund grants supporting journalistic investigations involving journalists from at least two countries covered by the action, thereby highlighting issues of common interest to citizen of several Member States and strengthening the European media sphere. This preparatory action will build on the ‘European research grants for journalistic investigations, #IJ4EU’ project.

This action is expected to fund activities of one consortium of organisations.

Total budget for Action 2: 1.500.000 €

The selected project started on 1 March 2020

Action 3 - Pilot Project: Supporting investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU

The projects to be selected under Action 3 are expected to set up a range of supporting activities. They will be geared at providing support to independent, collaborative journalism in the EU Member States and at promoting media freedom across the EU. The action will also help raising awareness of the importance of media freedom, quality and ethical journalism for democracy.

The call for proposals aims at selecting three to five beneficiaries/consortia to carry out Action 3.

The first project selected under Action 3 started on 1 June 2020. 

A second project selected under Action 3 started on 1 July 200.

More information will be published on this page.

Total budget for Action 3: 1.275.000 €

Total budget available for the three actions: 4.175.000 €

Maximum co-financing rate: 90% of eligible costs.

The closing date for applications was 27 September 2019.

 

Previsously, on 21 February 2019, The European Commission published three separate calls for pilot projects to promote quality journalism, and cross-border cooperation between media professionals and self-regulatory bodies. They form part of the EU’s drive to promote and stimulate media freedom and pluralism in Europe. The total budget available for the three Calls was 2.2 Million EUR.

The first pilot project, “Exchange of media rising stars to speed up innovation and increase cross-border coverage”, will facilitate the mobility of young media professionals and cross-border cooperation between these professionals and media outlets as a means to promote innovation in the European media sector and foster an environment conducive to quality journalism and media pluralism. The selected project started on November 1st, 2019.

A second call for a pilot project on “Internship opportunities for minority language media” was launched on the same date but did not receive any application.  As a results, no project was funded under that Call.

The third pilot project, “Media councils in the digital age”, will study and map the activities of media self-regulatory bodies (also known as ‘media or press councils’) in the EU. It will also help establishing a platform to facilitate cooperation between these bodies and facilitate their adaptation to the online world. The selected project started on 1 October 2019.

The closing date for application was 17 April 2019.

 

2018 Projects

The European Centre for Press and Media freedom (ECPMF)

The European Commission co-funded projects run by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and its partners. In 2018, the budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects was EUR 1 000 000.

As a group of five partners, the ECPMF aims to address media freedom violations and help journalists under threat.

The main task in 2018 was to support investigative reporters: ECPMF, in partnership with IPI provided grants for investigative cross-border assignments. ECPMF offered training in digital self-defence at bespoke workshops to enable journalists to work freely and safely.

The ECPMF operates as an Alarm Centre, serving European media workers at risk. It follows legal and political developments, publishes in-depth journalistic stories, monitors and raises awareness about violations of media freedom and pluralism in Europe.

  • Alerts are raised by Index on Censorships "Mapping Media Freedom".
  • Ossigeno monitors threats posed to media freedom through organised crime.
  • SEEMO focuses on the Balkans, as well as Turkey.
  • IPI’s monitoring highlights the chilling effect that abuse of defamation laws can create. This year, the emphasis will be on the Visegrád countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and on Spain, working with ECPMF member organisation PDLI
  • The online database European Media Freedom Resource Centre and the Wiki4MediaFreedom initiative – compiled and curated by OBCT — work to increase the quantity and improve the quality of online content relating to media freedom and pluralism.

When media freedom is threatened, fact-finding missions in country provide a rapid response.

The ECPMF continues to offer updates on new legislation in the legal stories published on the website and in social media, as well as legal support to journalists who are suffering persecution. In addition, it offers a temporary safe place to live and work with its Journalists-in-Residence programme and aims to help journalists in exile through its networks of contacts.

Using advocacy, solidarity actions, newsletters, social media, and its own website, the ECPMF gives a loud voice to media freedom campaigns.

ECPMF participates in joint advocacy actions with a wide range of international partners.

The European Centre for Press & Media Freedom (ECPMF) promotes the implementation of the European Charter on Freedom of the Press in all of Europe.

2017 projects

In 2017, the budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects run by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and its partners was EUR 500 000.

  • The ECPMF operates as an Alarm Centre, helping European media workers under threat. It follows legal and political developments, publishes in-depth journalistic stories, monitors and raises awareness on violations of media freedom and pluralism in Europe.
  • Index on Censorship is monitoring violations with the ‘Mapping Media Freedom Project
  • Ossigeno focuses on threats posed to media freedom by organised crime.
  • SEEMO keeps an eye on the Balkans, as well as Turkey.
  • IPI’s monitoring highlights the chilling effect of bad defamation laws on the free flow of information.
  • The online database European Media Freedom Resource Centre and the Wiki4MediaFreedom initiative – compiled and curated by OBCT — work to improve the quality of content on media freedom and pluralism and to reinforce communication.

2016 projects

In 2016, the European Commission selected three projects following a call for proposals in the field of violations of media freedom and pluralism. The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects was EUR 1 000 000 (the Commission financed up to 70% of the projects costs).

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is a membership-organisation and serves as contact point for individual journalists in danger. It researches and registers violations of media freedom and informs the public, via its website and the Media Freedom Resource Centre, an online-platform that collects and systematizes content related to press freedom. Endangered journalists can be supported with legal or financial help and the Journalists-in-Residence-programme, which provides them with a safe shelter.

Mapping Media Freedom #MapMF

Mapping Media Freedom identifies threats, violations and limitations faced by media workers throughout European Union member states, candidates for entry and neighbouring countries. The platform is operated by Index on Censorship and is coordinated within the ECMPF.

A screenshot of the map that monitors violations and censorship on journalists Click on the image to see the full map on the project website

The Abuse of Defamation Laws in Europe: Exposing and Addressing the Threat to Media Freedom and Pluralism

The International Press Institute (IPI)'s work under this project aims to address the threat that the abuse of defamation laws, and of criminal defamation laws in particular, poses to the public’s right to information in the EU and in Candidate Countries.

See the Call for Proposals for a Preparatory Action in the field of media freedom published in November 2015 for more information.

2015 projects

In 2015, the European Commission selected two projects following a call for proposals in the field of violations of media freedom and pluralism. The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects was EUR 1 000 000. The projects ran between May 2015 and April 2016.

Creation of a European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

A central element of the project was the establishment of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) as an independent non-profit European Cooperative Society in Leipzig. It was formalised in June 2015.

Mapping and Defending Media Freedom in Europe

In partnership with the European Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, Index on Censorship monitored and reported on violations to media freedom via its mapping media freedom platform.

More info on the project's website and on the 2014 call for proposals.

2014 projects

In 2014, the European Commission selected four projects following a call for proposals published in 2013. Their activities started in early 2014 for a duration of one year.