Henrik Kaufholz, whose journalism career started in 1967, is a reporter at the Danish daily Politiken. Co-founder of the Danish Association for Investigative Journalism (FUJ), he is FUJ's representative at Scoop for Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Russia. He has been a correspondent in Moscow, Bonn and Berlin, and he covered the war in the Balkans from 1991 to 1995.
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.
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.
President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) since May 2013. He is a Member of the Council and Bureau of The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) of the UNESCO since 2014 and Vice-president 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.
Ljiljana Smajlovic is the former editor-in-chief of the Serbian daily newspaper Politika in Belgrade. She was the first woman in the century-long history of this newspaper to hold that job, which she did until mid 2016. For her work 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. She has been a foreign correspondent for several newspapers, reporting from Brussels and the United States.
In Support for Leipzig’s European Centre for Press and Media Freedom: Contrary to what most of our Western European colleagues seem to believe, freedom of the press in the south-east region of Europe is not only under attack from “national patriotism” or right-of-center ideologies and political parties. Present-day Serbia, the most recent candidate for EU membership, is a case in point. The country is run by an assortment of political parties that all pay lip service to European civic values, but their leaders routinely fail to live up to the most basic European standards of behaviour when freedom of expression is at stake. Even more disturbingly, European bureaucrats do little more than slap the ruling coalition on its wrist for egregious infractions of press freedoms, such as media laws designed to intimidate the press or political pressures on editorial policy. The local press in Serbia is on its deathbed, while municipal financing comes with the proviso that journalists do not publish critical stories. Most international organizations monitoring press freedom have been demoting Serbia on their lists for three years in a row, yet this barely seems to register with Brussels, where the European Commission routinely gives the country passing marks. We need institutions that will heed the warnings of press professionals on the ground, and that Brussels will be forced to listen to. The path to EU integration is littered with corpses of good intentions and misreading of local situations.
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