December, 6th -7th 2019

The Association of European Journalists is organizing a major European conference examining the state of press freedom across Europe on December 6th of December2019.

The event is AEJ’s 2019 Annual Congress. It will be hosted by the French Section of the AEJ with participation by other national AEJ sections. It will take place at UNESCO’s headquarters building in Paris with additional support from the Council of Europe. The conference room can accommodate up to 350 people.

The AEJ’s intention is that the conference will highlight the acute threats to media freedom and to the vital role of the media in the democratic process in contemporary Europe. Conclusions and recommendations from the gathering will be communicated to the relevant authorities in UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union, reflecting the urgent need for new measures to safeguard press freedom and the safety and security of journalists in all parts of Europe (« Appel de Paris »).

Guest speakers at the Conference will include public figures representing major European institutions, media organizations and press freedom NGO’s, as well as AEJ journalists from 15 national sections.

The AEJ also invite the students of journalism and high school pupils from Ile de France Region, Lycée Jean Monnet from Juvisy-sur-Orge.

France Télévisions, Reporters without borders, Robert Schuman Foundation and Hippocrène Foundation are supporting this Conference.

On Saturday December 7th the AEJ will hold its annual General Assembly at the Maison de Jean Monnet in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne about 45 kilometers west of Paris, with the kind cooperation of the Jean Monnet Association, European Parliament and the AEJ Belgian Section.


9:00 am Welcome
10:00 am Introductions

Véronique AUGER, Présidente AEJ-France (5’)

Moez CHAKCHOUK, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Sector at UNESCO (5’)


  1. Europe isn’t a safe space for journalists anymore

Never in Europe’s history have journalists been as threatened and at risk as today. Political or financial pressures, discredit, murders, intimidations or self-censorship, their environment becomes more and more hostile.

What reaction should European journalists have? How can they find their place back in the democratic systems?

  • Pauline ADES-MEVEL, Head of Europe desk, Reporters without borders (confirmed)
  • Matthew CARUANA GALIZIA, Investigative journalist and son of Daphne CARUANA GALIZIA murdered in Malta (confirmed)
  • Emmanuel HOOG, former President INA and AFP, author of a report on the creation of a French self-regulatory body (confirmed)
  • Anna ROOSVALL, Stockholm University, media department (confirmed)

Moderator: Nora HAMADI, VoxPop Arte

  1. Is an informed public debate still possible at the time of disinformation?

The Brexit referendum, and the national and European elections have been sullied by a growing number of political manipulations. It has come to a point where having a serene public debate and being correctly informed get more and more difficult.

What weapons are at the service of European media?

  • Christophe DELOIRE, General Secretary Reporters Without borders (confirmed)
  • Ruslan DEYNYCHENKO, executive director of Stop Fake (Ukraine) (confirmed)
  • Eric MAURICE, Foundation Robert Schuman Bruxelles (confirmed)
  • Irina NEDEVA, President of EJA Bulgaria, author of a report on fake news for the European Council (confirmed)
  • Patrick PENNINCKX, Head of Department – Information society Council of Europe (confirmed)
  • Eric SCHERER, Prospective director France Télévisions (confirmed)

Moderator: Gian-Paulo ACCARDO, VoxEurop, VP AEJ France

01 :30 pm to 02 :30 pm : Lunch. Cafeteria UNESCO


03:00 pm

  1. #Journalisttoo

If gender equality is at a better state in Europe than anywhere else in the world, female journalists of the old continent are also victims of sexual and moral harassment.

Some of them accepted to share their stories, some advice and possible solutions.

  • Saorla Mc CABE, Programme Specialist, Freedom of Expression and Media Development UNESCO (confirmed)
  • Caroline de HAAS @les_expertes (confirmed)
  • Linda PELKONEN, Finnish journalist (confirmed)
  • Julia HAAS, Project Associate, Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (confirmed)

Moderator: Catherine ANDRE, VoxEurop VP AEJ France

  1. Public audiovisual media facing new threats

Public audiovisual media at the time of populism and “illiberal democracies”, or how to guarantee a public service that has the best interest of all citizen at heart and doesn’t serve the purpose of the governing party.

Stories, good habits to take on and possible solutions.  

  • Marie-Laure AUGRY (former anchorwoman TF1, former mediator FTV) (confirmed)
  • Cilla BENKÖ, Director General atSwedish Radio and member of EBU (confirmed)
  • Krzysztof BOBINSKI, President of AEJ Poland (confirmed)
  • Isaia TSAOUSIDOU, President of AEJ Greece (confirmed)

Moderator: William HORSLEY, Former BBC, Pdt AEJ UK

06:30 pm: cocktail-dînatoire au Bar 7 de l’UNESCO (panoramic view of Paris)

Soirée libre

Partnerships and sponsorships:

The Conference is under the High patronage of the Council of Europe, in partnership whith UNESCO, and with the support of the following institutions :

RSF (Reporter without Borders)

Swedish delegation to Unesco

Embassy of Sweden in France


European Parliament

Region Ile de France

EBU (European Broadcast Union)

Robert Schuman Foundation

Hippocrène Foundation


Maison Jean Monnet (Bazoches-sur-Guyonne)

Lycée Jean Monnet (Juvisy-sur-Orge)