EFJ Annual Meeting 2021: Journalists’ Issues to be Discussed in Zagreb

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As expected, it is older than the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) that was established in 1994, but then again, as expected, the EFJ (being multinational) holds a much stronger position when addressing the typical troubles journalists face.

The two associations collaborate really well, as is evident in EFJ’s support to HND in condemning Croatian PM Andrej Plenković who is also the president of the right-centre Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). As TCN informed in June, Plenković attacked the press, accusing them of being paid to vilify and smear HDZ candidates.

After the event being postponed in May 2020, both HND and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (SNH) will host the EFJ annual meeting in Zagreb on October 8-9. This year’s edition of the meeting will go with a theme titled ”Better Protecting Journalists”.

”The topics include enhancing the protection of journalists across Europe, pressures on media in the region, the prosecution of journalists and journalist associations in Belarus, and rescuing journalists from Afghanistan. The two-day assembly will be held at the Journalists’ Home and gather over one hundred respected journalists, the president of the journalists’ organisation and syndicates from all over Europe, as well as distinguished guests,” says HND on its website.

The open part of the assembly will have two panels.

The first one, entitled ”Pressures on journalists and media in the region” is where the Journalist Security Index will be presented. The Index has four categories: the legal and administrative frame and context of journalistic work, attack preventions, investigations and legal actions taken against journalists and procedures in case of an attack on a journalist.

It will be interesting to see the newest results because, as TCN wrote earlier, while media liberties deteriorate in the rest of the world, Croatia actually saw quite some progress.

The second open panel is a round table entitled ”Journalism in the time of polarisation”.

”The opening remarks to the representatives of the press association will be given by Croatian President Zoran Milanović, Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek (who will also do so on behalf of Croatian PM Andrej Plenković), and IFJ President Mogens Blicher. SNH President Maja Sever, HND President Hrvoje Zovko and President of the Belarus Journalists’ Association Andrei Bastunets, will all also be present,” announced HND.

When it comes to Croatia, as TCN wrote, the main issue in this regard is currently lawsuits, particularly SLAPP lawsuits, which are ”strategic” lawsuits (meaning they’re unfounded or exaggerated) and aimed at intimidating and silencing those who ask questions of public interest.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about the Croatian Journalists’ Association, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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