Paris, 6 December 2019 

The Association of European Journalists (AEJ) organises an International conference on freedom of the press Europe on 6 December, in Paris, on the occasion of its annual congress. 

Europe is the part of the worldwhere press freedomhas deterioratedthe most in recent years. While European journalists enjoy a generally privileged situation compared to many other regions of the world, Europe is no longer a completely safe place for the profession and for press freedom. The erosion of the ‘European model’ is all the more obvious given the current trend of societies towards polarization, which is making public debate increasingly fraught. 

Guest speakers at the Conference will include public figures representing major European institutions, media organisations and press freedom NGOs, as well as AEJ journalists from 15 national sections. We have chosen Paris to give the conference the widest possible impact. It will highlight the acute threats to media freedom and to the vital role of the media in the democratic process in contemporary Europe. Conclusions and recommendations from the gathering will be communicated to the relevant authorities inUNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union. 

The conference will also lead to a call to the European institutions and countries launched by all the national sections of the AEJ, Reporters without borders, the European Federation of Journalists, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and South East Europe Media Organisation. 

Organized by the French sectionof the AEJ,the conference isunder the HighPatronage of the Council of Europe, in partnership with UNESCO. It will take place in the Organisation’s premises. 

The Conference,open toall delegates fromthe European sections of the AEJ, will offer someof them the opportunity totestify for the first time on the restrictions of freedomthey encounter 

in their country before journalists, politicians and NGOs representatives. Students from the Jean-Monnet highschool in Juvisy-sur-Orge will also be present. The conference is open to accredited journalists. 

The conference will revolve around four panels on as many topics: 

Europe is not a safe place for journalists anymore Never in recent history have journalists in Europe been as threatened and at risk as today. Political or financial pressures, discredit, murders, intimidations or self-censorship, their environment becomes more and more hostile. What reaction should European journalists have? How can they find their place back in the democratic systems? 

  • Pauline ADES-MEVEL, Head of Europe desk, Reporters without borders @paulinenoemi 
  • Matthew CARUANA GALIZIA, Investigative journalist and son of murdered Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia @mcaruanagalizia 
  • Emmanuel HOOG, Former president of the French Audiovisual national institute (INA) and of Agence France-presse, author of a report on the creation of a French self-regulatory body @emmannuelhoog 
  • Anna ROOSVALL, Stockholm University, Media Department @AnnaRoosvall 

Moderator: Nora Hamadi / Vox Pop Arte, Vice-president AEJ France @norahamadi 

Is an informed public debate still possible at the time of disinformation? The Brexit referendumandthe nationalandEuropeanelections have beensulliedby a growing number of political manipulations. It has come to a point where having a serenepublic debate and being correctly informed get more and more difficult. What weapons are atthe service of European news media? 

  • Christophe DELOIRE : Secretary general of Reporters Without Borders since 2012. Former General Manager of Centre de Formation des Journalistes. Journalist and writer. @cdeloire 
  • Irina NEDEVA, President of AEJ Bulgaria, author of a report on fake news for the European Council Edutirn Anchor and presenter of the Morning prime time live talk-show on the Channel « Horizon » of the National Bulgarian Public Radio. @Irina_Nedeva 
  • Eric MAURICE, Former journalist He is now in charge of Robert Schuman Foundation office in Brussels. @er1cmau 
  • Eric SCHERER, Former journalist AFP and Reuters He is now Director of Innovation and future media at FranceTélévisions, @EricScherer 
  • Ruslan DEYNYCHENKO, executive director of Stop Fake (Ukraine). Stop Fake is an NGO fighting against fake news and disinformation in Ukraine. @deynychenko 

Moderator: Gian Paolo Accardo | VoxEurop, Vice President AEJ France @gpaccardo 

#JOURNALISTSTOO If gender equality is in a better state in Europe than anywhere else in the world, female journalists across the continent are also victims of sexual and moral harassment. 

  • Saorla MCCABE : She joined Unesco in 2205 and is a programme specialist in its division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development. She is responsible for projects that address the specific risks faced by female journalists, both online and offline. 
  • Linda PELKONEN : Coming from Finland where 25 percent of journalists are reported to have been cyber-harassed. Radio Journalist at YLE public broadcaster. She was a victim of cyber harassment after posting an article about rape of a teenager. @LindaPelkonen 
  • Caroline de HAAS : In 2013 She created the agency EGAE, specialized in business consulting around gender equality. She, notably advised big media after the online media harassment scandal “Ligue du LOL”. @carolinedehaas 
  • Julia HAAS, Project Associate, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States, and provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. @OSCE_RFoM, @juliahaas13 

Moderator: Catherine André / VoxEurop, Vice President AEJ France. @Andre_Cath 

Public audiovisual media facing new threats Public audiovisual media at the time of populism and “illiberal democracies”, or how to guarantee a public service that has the best interest of all citizens at heart and doesn’t serve the purpose of the governing party. Stories, good practices to take on and possible solutions. 

  • Marie Laure AUGRY. A former leading anchorwoman on French national television, she is now the public editor at France Televisions. She is active in the Assises du journalisme media NGO @MarieLaureAugry 
  • Krzysztof BOBINSKI. President of AEJ Poland is very involved in the issues of press freedom in Poland @wiezki 
  • Cilla BENKÖ, Director General of Swedish Radio and member of the board of EBU. @CillaBenko 
  • Isaia TSAOUSIDOU, President of AEJ Greece. @Isaia66 

Moderator: William Horsley / Former BBC, President AEJ UK @aej_uk 

9AM till 6PM at UNESCO headquarters, in Paris. Entrance from 125, avenue de Suffren. 

Accreditations; Contact : Véronique Auger |