European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the
International Federation of Journalists, calls on European legislators today to
strengthen the journalists' rights by improving the balance between the
fundamental rights of freedom of expression and an individual's right to privacy
when reviewing European data protection legislation.
call came after a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which
denied an applicant's right of access to a public document regarding
anti-competitive behaviour on personal privacy grounds that is protected under
current data protection regulation.
judgement of the Court on 30 June exposes the current imbalance in reconciling two
fundamental rights: freedom of information and protection of personal privacy,"
said Arne König,
legitimate concern to protect privacy and personal data by legislation should
not infringe the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of
information as laid down in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights
legislators should create a legal framework in which journalists are free to fulfil
their task of investigating and informing the public in a transparent, ethical
and accountable editorial environment," König stressed.
European Commission is currently reviewing the Data Protection Directive(95/46/EC),
a European legislative instrument that regulates the processing of personal
data. In the response to the Commission's consultation, the EFJ urges the
Commission to pay special attention to the incompatibility of the Directive
with Article 10 of the ECHR and to strictly follow the principles of the
Council of Europe stated on 29 May 2009 in the Reykjavik
Declaration to respect freedom of expression
and freedom of information.
EFJ also warned the Commission to take into account the principle of protecting
the confidentiality of journalists' sources of information when reviewing the
legislation. "Journalists fear that data protection legislation could
increasingly be used as a means to prevent investigative journalism," said the
policy-makers must uphold and clarify the existing exemption that allows
journalists and media organisations to process personal data for journalistic
purpose," the EFJ stressed.
information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in over 30 countries across