Executive Board

Yannis Kotsifos

Chair of ECPMF

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1969, he is the director general of the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH) and its Cultural Foundation. He has worked as a journalist in both newspapers and radio. He also edited numerous books and collaborated with various magazines. In 2013 he was elected as member of EFJ Steering Committee, a position he still has after being reelected twice, in 2016 and 2019. Both on local and European level he coordinated and/or contributed to numerous projects, workshops and seminars on journalists’ training, diversity reporting and ethics, media freedom and media literacy.

Galina Arapova

Galina Arapova is director and senior media lawyer of the NGO Mass Media Defence Centre, working in the field of media rights protection and the promotion of freedom of expression standards in Russia. She has a law degree, and undertook post graduate studies at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations (Russian Academy of Sciences). She is a graduate of the European Law Institute (Birmingham, UK) in human rights law where she completed a practice programme conducted in cooperation with the Council of Europe. She has worked in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of information since 1995.

Rebecca Harms

Rebecca Harms is a former Member of the European Parliament. As one of the leading figures in the German anti-nuclear movement since the mid-1970s, she joined the Green Party in 1994 and served as a Member of Parliament in Lower Saxony. She moved to Brussels in 2004 when Central European States joined the European Union. She was President of the Green Group and also President of the Parliamentary Assembly with the Eastern Partnership countries (Euronest). She became well known for trying to bridge the gap between East and West Europe. While supporting democratisation and rule of law in Eastern Europe and especially in Ukraine and Turkey she was confronted with the barriers to change caused by the lack of independent news media and/ or press freedom. The Russian war on information and the question of how to react, the criminalisation and mass detention of journalists and writers in the purge in Turkey and also the violence against journalists - and even assassinations - in EU member states became her priorities in her work in the European Parliament. Today she lives in a village in Lower Saxony with her former colleagues of the Wendland Film Co-operative. She is a member of the Assembly of the HeinrichBöll Foundation and represents the BöllFoundation at ENOP, the European Network of Political Foundations. She has joined the Sustainability Council of the Volkswagen car manufacturer and continues to support and advising CSOs in Germany and the Eastern Partnership countries.

Stephan Seeger

Since 2001, Stephan Seeger is the director of the Foundations of Sparkasse Leipzig. He also serves on the board of the European Institute for Journalism and Communication Research (EIJC). From 1998 to 2001 he was an advisor to the board of Sparkasse Leipzig. In this role, he was responsible, among other things, for political consulting and public affairs. Before joining Sparkasse, he served as a press officer for the Regional Council President of Leipzig from 1993 to 1998.

Ljiljana Smajlovic

Ljiljana Smajlović is the former editor-in-chief of the Serbian daily newspaper Politika in Belgrade. She was honoured with the Dimitrije Davidovic Award for outstanding editing. From 2009 to 2017, she was also President of the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS). She has been a foreign correspondent for several newspapers, reporting from Brussels, the Balkan war crimes tribunals at The Hague, Netherlands and from the United States.Smailovic was foreign editor of Evropljanin news magazine until its founding editor Slavko Curivija was assassinated and she helped to establish the Slavko Curuvija Foundation. Its mission aims to raise the quality of journalism in Serbia, offering support for local media and investigative journalism, as well as providing training for students of journalism.

Supervisory Board

Lucie Sykorova

Chair of the Supervisory Board

Anthony McNicholas

Vice Chair of the Supervisory Board

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård

Freelance International on capacity building, press freedom and authors' rights and since 2013 President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). Member of the Council of The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) of the UNESCO since 2014. Was a founding member of the International Media Support (IMS). He has been President of the Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) from 1999 - 2015. Blicher Bjerregård successfully led the DJ to a strong union with yearly growth in its membership.

Martin Fiedler

born in Leipzig in 1982. He studied history and English at Leipzig University and graduated with a master’s degree. Since 2011, he is working for the Foundations of Sparkasse Leipzig. Initially responsible for project management, he is now also in charge for all public relations and the office of European Institute for Journalism and Communication research.