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EU Media Advocacy Working Group

Introduction to the EU Media Advocacy Working Group and how to use the resource centre.
This resource centre supports the work of the EU Media Advocacy Working Group - an informal network for organisations within the journalism support, media development, digital rights, media freedom, and wider democracy support communities conducting advocacy work within European Union (EU) institutions on media-related issues.
It is administered by the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) but is not exclusively for GFMD’s members.

Background

The EU Media Advocacy Working Group (WG) first convened in autumn 2019 after representatives from GFMD, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) recognised the need for a dedicated space to share information, coordinate efforts, and collaborate together regarding the increasing number of media policy priorities within the EU.
Since then, the group has expanded to include organisations working across the EU and EU Neighbourhood countries. The group meets on at least a monthly basis to share information and updates about ongoing advocacy, while also providing a space for organisations with shared media-related advocacy objectives to work together more efficiently.

How do we operate?

The EU Media Advocacy Working Group is a non-hierarchical network driven by the open exchange of knowledge and expertise with the aim to build cooperation and solidarity.
It functions primarily to bring together relevant individuals and organisations who are working on shared advocacy objectives; thus, there is no formalised structure or centralised coordination.
Instead, we identify the major policy areas relevant to EU institutions and coordinate via sub-working groups led by at least one volunteer (detailed below).
As we are composed of a range of different groups with different mandates and approaches, we do not define objectives or set strategies for individual organisations. On the contrary, we meet regularly, share information, and then follow-up with agreed joint pieces of advocacy.
Any member is also free to be as involved in either the working groups or the sub-working groups as they see fit and permitting their capacity under the condition that individual organisations do not take information provided by others and use it for their own means.
We primarily communicate using the EU Media Advocacy Riseup list administered by GFMD ( [email protected]), but sub-working groups coordinate their work on their own (e.g., by sending an email to all those interested in that particular topic). The mailing list membership list and archives are private, and only subscribed members may access them.

Who can join and participate in the EU Media Advocacy Working Group?

Any organisation working on media-related EU advocacy can be included in the working group and sub-working groups.
In general, membership is open to civil society who, even if based remotely, undertake – at least to some degree and even if only minimal – media- and/or democracy-based advocacy within the EU.
Involvement by for-profit organisations outside of the journalism sector has so far been restricted.
For any additional information, contact Laura Becana Ball, the coordinator of the WG mailing list, at [email protected]

Sub-working groups

At the beginning of 2020, the group set out thematic concerns that required regular consultation in terms of EU advocacy.
Sub-groups have been created for each thematic area, to go further into detail (separately) in terms of substance, and then report back to the wider group during a plenary call (which happens around once per month for one hour).
The sub-groups work at their own pace and independently set their priorities with the common understanding that anyone who is part of the wider group and wishes to contribute to the discussion is free to do so.
As of July 2022, we are discussing the following initiatives as well as having an active subgroup dedicated to the European Media Freedom Act:
The overall effectiveness of this working group relies on both distributed participation from among its members and their sub-working group activities, as well as respecting the need to consult with the wider group to solicit greater support on our joint advocacy and policy initiatives.
Doing so ensures greater cohesion among our members and our messaging, but even more crucially, aims to promote a more unified sectoral response to common policy areas.

Previous groups/initiatives and their coordinators were:

1. Rule of Law Mechanism

  1. 1.
    Tom Gibson, CPJ
  2. 2.
    Nicholas Aiossa, Transparency International EU

2. Digital Services Act & Digital Markets Act

  1. 1.
    Ruth-Marie Henckes, EPD
  2. 2.
    Maria Luisa Stasi, ARTICLE 19
  3. 3.
    Nick Martlew and Layla Wade, Digital Action

3. SLAPPs

  1. 1.
    Tom Gibson, CPJ
  2. 2.
    Sarah Clarke, ARTICLE 19
  3. 3.
    Julie Majerczak, RSF
  4. 4.
    Camille Petit, EFJ

4. European Democracy Action Plan & Media and Audiovisual Action Plan

  1. 1.
    Ruth-Marie Henckes, EPD

5. COVID-19 reporting group

  1. 1.
    Oliver Money-Kyrle, IPI

6. Funding for independent journalism

  1. 1.
    Tom Law, GFMD (external funding)
  2. 2.
    Renate Schroeder, EFJ (internal and external funding)