The AEJ is active across Europe. Please visit and check AEJ Newsletters to see what it is doing for its members























Latest News

AEJ Congress: An exceptionally successful AEJ Congress was held on 6-7 November in Sibiu, Romania. The generosity of the Romanian Section as hosts is deeply appreciated by all, particularly as it is only four years since it last undertook this burdensome task. You can read all about it here:

·        a comprehensive report by Firdevs Robinson

·        a report focusing on corruption by David Barker

·        country reports by the AEJ sections in Armenia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and Ukraine  on the Survey page on this site

·        the 2015 report by the AEJ Media Freedom Representative, William Horsley

·        Anthony Robinson’s blog (see right)

Further documents will be added to this page, and to the Media Freedom and AEJ in Europe pages, as they become available. Meanwhile, please watch the News page on (10 November 2015)

Attack on Turkey’s Hürriyet: The AEJ has expressed its solidarity with the Turkish daily whose Ankara offices were attacked for a second time on 8 September by a group of AKP and Erdogan supporters protesting against Hürriyet’s reporting of the recent deaths of Turkish troops at the hands of the PKK. See (10 September 2015)

False Baku verdict condemned: The AEJ joined other press freedom advocates in calling for a swift reversal of the conviction of Khadiya Ismayilova of various crimes of dishonesty and corruption and her release from a 7½-year prison sentence. This politically motivated case has been followed on the new Council of Europe platform. See (3 September 2015)

Pre-election arrests in Turkey: Raids on opposition media, the arrest of a VICE News team and the threat of further repressive action before the 1 November election have raised international protests. AEJ member Firdevs Robinson reports on this in Firdevs talks Turkey (below). See (2 September 2015)

Turkey: Аn abrupt change in the regulations about who is able to carry a press card in Turkey triggered strong reaction from the country’s professional journalists’ organisations. Journalist members of the committee that decides on eligibility were not consulted. The TGC journalists’ association and TGS union, withdrew their members: “There is no sense for us in remaining as extras.” See (1 September 2015)

Protection of journalists: New proposals for European governments to safeguard journalists from violence, intimidation and harassment were presented by the AEJ’s Media Freedom Representative to the 2 July meeting at the Italian Senate (below). They urge open accountable government and stronger adherence to human rights principles. See (2 August 2015)

Mafia threat to journalists: Support for the work of Ossigeno, the media freedom organisation, was pledged at a meeting in the Senate on 2 July. The Mafia’s threats of violence go largely unreported, but as many as 30 journalists live under permanent police protection. Ossigeno is working with the parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission. See (2 August 2015)

Latest Briefings

A selection of writings with an AEJ connection

Firdevs Robinson's writing is now accessible on

Anthony Robinson: Corruption and the long arm of Moscow in central Europe. Blog from the AEJ Congress in Sibiu, Romania:  6-7 November 2015 (10 November 2015)

Laurence Peter: EU seizures of migrant boats won’t stop crime gangs - IOM (BBC News, 6 October 2015)

Firdevs Robinson: The chilling effect of mounting pressure on Turkish media (2 September 2015)

Otmar Lahodynsky: Why the new EU directive on trade secrets protection is a threat to media freedom (11 June 2015)

William Horsley: Should Europe boldly go into the media battleground? (10 March 2015)

William Horsley: Charlie Hebdo murders mean journalism just got more dangerous (9 January 2015)



Lunchtime meetings

Meetings are held at the European Parliament’s London Office (Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1) and usually start at 12.30. A fee of £25 is charged to cover the cost of refreshments (special £10 rate for students and journalists under the age of 25).

4 December 2015

David McAllister MEP

Chancellor Merkel’s special envoy for relations with the UK: Germany, the UK and the future shape of the EU membership

For details, see News. For a list of our recent lunchtime guests, see Past Events.

The EP’s UK website gives details of its own events, of which visitors may be notified by email.

A blog from Sibiu

Among the fruits of a lively and successful 2015 Congress is this contribution by Anthony Robinson, formerly East Europe Editor of the Financial Times and a member of the UK section of the AEJ. He spent three decades in this vast region, 13 years of which were under Soviet rule. He writes:

What struck me most listening to anti-corruption activists such as conference speaker Monica Macovei, a Romanian MEP, and above all to media colleagues from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere, was the sense of how vulnerable society in general and the media in particular feels about the prevalence of corruption, the lack of implementation of laws protecting journalists – and the way internal corruption facilitates the insidious return of Soviet-style agents of influence on many levels.

Seeing the repetition of a past blighted by suppression and corruption, he urges the media to wake the people up to the new – or not so new – European reality.

Investigatory powers in the UK

The UK government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill was published on 4 November. Liberty has drawn up a list of eight criteria that the law should meet but are not sufficiently embodied in the draft. This may be supported by signature of its Safe and Sound 8 Point Plan:

·        judicial sign-off

·        respect for our data

·        targeted surveillance for a reason

·        transparency and redress

·        use of intercept evidence in court

·        fair and open international data sharing laws

·        protection of encryption standards

·        recognition of the threat posed by hacking

Richard Heller speaks to the nation

AEJ member Richard Heller unexpectedly took the stage when a text he had written was used by Jeremy Corbyn in his address to the Labour Party Conference on 29 September. “I am delighted the passage has been used,” Richard said. “I have many disagreements with Corbyn, but I now have to admire his rhetorical judgment.”

Lords report on EU-UK balance of powers

Reported only by the Guardian and Observer, the House of Lords EU Committee published a report on 25 March concluding that the government had buried its review of the “competences” allocated to the EU and UK by the Lisbon Treaty.

The review resulted in 32 reports examining the allocation of powers in detail, published between July 2013 and December 2014. They were fact-based, drawing on evidence from government, Parliament, experts in the field, academe and stakeholders.

None of them concluded that the transfer of powers to the EU had been “excessive”, although both the review and the report pointed to defects.

As a fact-finding exercise designed to inform both public debate and policy, the review was unprecedented. It is attracting considerable notice elsewhere in the EU. The Lords committee says that the UK government has given the “appearance of burying the review’s excellent output”.

Relevant ministries gave no publicity to the 32 reports and no attempt was made to draw their conclusions together in a way that would make them intelligible to public or government, despite an initial promise to do this. The Lords committee dismisses the Europe Minister’s “hope that some of it eventually percolates through” as wishful thinking.

Media visits to the European Parliament

The EP’s London Office has a small budget to offset some of the travel and hotel costs incurred by journalists when visiting the European Parliament. Only a limited number can be helped in this way, so you must first be invited by the UK Office before seeking reimbursement (see EP website).



About us

The AEJ is an independent, self-funding association for journalists, writers and specialists in European affairs. The UK section is part of a Europe-wide network of some 20 national sections across Europe, with more than 1000 members in all.

In the UK section, we arrange for leading newsmakers from across Europe to give briefings to us about once a month, over lunch at the office of the European Parliament in London. We also organise special events, such as seminars, from time to time.

The AEJ offers journalists the chance to be part of a network of media professionals and experts on European issues. Membership can provide valuable mutual support for individual journalists (it is open to both UK and non-UK nationals). If you would like to join, please go to the Membership page.

We are not tied to any institutional or political group but are recognised by the Council of Europe, the OSCE and UNESCO. Our goals are to advance knowledge and debate on European affairs and to uphold media freedom.

Internationally, the AEJ has an active programme of professional activities and the annual AEJ Congress is a forum for debate on matters of common concern to journalists across the continent. A high priority is given to the AEJ's Media Freedom Project.

AEJ Media Freedom Project

The AEJ works to protect freedom of expression and independent journalism by bringing issues to the attention of governments and advising inter-governmental organisations on behalf of our members. The AEJ's Media Freedom Representative is William Horsley, a former BBC foreign correspondent and the current chairman of the UK section.

Since the AEJ Media Freedom Survey in 2007 (Goodbye to Freedom?), the AEJ has published Europe-wide surveys that reveal the erosion of press freedom through physical assaults, wrongful imprisonment, oppressive laws, and unacceptable political and commercial pressures.

The AEJ is an observer at the Council of Europe. It actively supports the ongoing efforts of UNESCO, the UN Agency with a mandate to safeguard media freedom, to implement the draft UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (text). The AEJ Media Freedom Representative authored the OSCE's Safety of Journalists Guidebook setting out the obligations of participating states to protect the security of journalists, including those using the Internet.

AEJ and the Council of Europe

The AEJ takes part in the policy work of the Council of Europe (CoE) on key issues, including journalists' safety and the freedom of the Internet, as a participant in the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society. It works on behalf of its members across Europe to hold the CoE and its 47 member states to their commitments on media freedom and freedom of expression.

To read further, please go to Media Freedom.

Our campaigns and activities can be tracked on the News and Media Freedom pages of the international AEJ website,  See also World Press Freedom Day.