On June 24, 2015, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom was founded in Leipzeg, Germany. The Centre was established by members of journalist associations, universities, trade unions, publishing houses, and media rights experts from across Europe. The Centre’s mission is rooted in addressing media rights violations throughout the European Union (EU) and beyond. Through constant monitoring, researching, and reporting the Centre hopes to expose media rights violations to both public and political entities. The Centre will also work to unify Europe’s highly fragmented media rights community through registrating parties engaged in media rights and acting as a contact point to connect individuals and groups.
The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of the Centre is comprised of individuals that represent many prominent journalist organizations, including the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and their European branch, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). Henrik Kaufholz has been appointed the Centre’s first Chairman of the Executive Board. Mr. Kaufholz’s achievements include founding and acting as the current Chairman of the International Committee of SCOOP, an investigative journalism initiative that aims to connect journalists in the former Soviet Republics and Western Africa.
He states the ambitious aim of the Centre: “The Centre is meant to be the lighthouse of press freedom in Europe. It will bring together different initiatives and promote closer co-operation among European activists. We will strive for common standards of media freedom across Europe. (Press Release, June 24, 2015)
The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom location in the city of Leipzeg, Germany is fitting. Leipzeg was the location of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 where tens of thousands of citizens gathered to demand freedom of the press protesting the communist state. For more information about the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, the complete Press Packet can be found here.