The president of the Croatian Journalists’ Union, Maja Sever, is new elected president of the European Federation of Journalists. She was elected at the assembly of the organization, which was held on June 13 and 14, 2022 in Izmir, Turkey.
137 out of a total of 144 delegates of the EFJ Assembly voted for Maja Sever. The second candidate for president from Poland, Marius Pilis, received the remaining 7 votes.
Sever is the first woman president of the EFJ. She thanked for the almost unanimous support of the assembly.
“This election is a great honor and an opportunity to continue the fight for strong, independent professional journalism. We live in a world where journalists are killed, detained and sued, where women work for lower wages, still cannot break through the glass ceiling, where journalists are exposed to attacks and insults, in a world where many journalists are not protected by labor or social rights, collective agreements are weak or non-existent, where freelancers are without rights and the survival of the public media is threatened …. so we need to remain strong and united. Keep fighting” , said Sever after the election.
In her program, she stated that the priorities of her presidential mandate will be the security of journalists, the improvement of workers’ and professional rights, the improvement of the position of freelance journalists and the fight against SLAPP lawsuits. She emphasized the importance of the struggle of journalists’ associations and trade unions for better strategic and legislative frameworks at the national and European level.
“We are entering a critical period in which the European Union could for the first time adopt a legal framework to support media freedom and pluralism, but the battle is ahead and we must join forces to get a strong European law on media freedom as we fight for protection. copyright and strengthening the legal framework for the protection of quality journalism, ” said Sever, presenting the program to the EFJ Assembly.
The President of the HND, Hrvoje Zovko, congratulated his colleague Sever on this great achievement.
“The Croatian Journalists’ Association, which unanimously supported the candidacy of colleague Maja Sever, congratulates her on her election as the president of the EFJ. This is a great thing, not only for her personally, but also for the entire journalistic scene in Croatia. It is a great thing for neighboring countries, as well for everyone. I believe that her mandate in the EFJ will be successful and for the benefit of all journalists in Europe. Sincere congratulations and good luck, ” Zovko said.
Maja Sever started working for the Croatian Radio and Television in 1990 as a journalist and war reporter in the Homeland War. She has participated in major public television projects, was the host and editor of the show Croatia Live and a member of the Program Council of the Croatian Radio and Television from 2015 to 2019. Since 2019, she has been the president of the Croatian Journalists’ Union. She has been an active member of the HND since 1995, where she has been the vice president since the beginning of 2019. In the same year, she was elected Vice-President of the Expert Group on Labor Rights (LAREG) of the European Federation of Journalists. She is the winner of the HND Journalist of the Year 2018 award. In addition to journalism, she has been involved in humanitarian work for years, which is why she received the Pride of Croatia award. She also received the Fierce woman award for her contribution to gender and social equality in Croatia.
The EFJ Assembly also elected a new vice president, Mustafa Kulelia of the Turkish Journalists’ Union.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is the largest journalistic organization in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 72 journalist organizations from 45 countries. The European Federation of Journalists was established in 1994 as part of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to represent the interests of journalists’ associations, trade unions and members of their associations in Europe. According to the statutory provisions, the EFJ is a non-profit association and fights for the social and professional rights of journalists working in various media sectors throughout Europe through united and strong unions and journalists’ associations. The EFJ promotes and defends the rights to freedom of expression and information guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The importance and significance of the EFJ has been recognized by both the European Union and the Council of Europe, which recognize the EFJ as a partner and representative voice of journalists in Europe, and only those with a good and unblemished reputation can become members.