EFJ Says Social Dialogue Declaration Comes at “Critical Time” for Audiovisual Industry

Today the European Federation of Journalists welcomed a joint declaration by both sides of the audiovisual industry in Europe, saying the move comes “at a critical time for the future of the media and everyone who works within it.” 

“The partners in this dialogue – from both management and workers’ sides – recognise that at this critical time for the future of media and everyone who works within it, we need to work together to meet the challenges ahead,” said EFJ Chairman Arne König. “Social dialogue is not an option; it is an obligation whose main priorities have now been defined together by employers’ and workers’ organisations”. 

A conference gathering organisations of public and private broadcasters, producers as well as trade union organizations of journalists, technicians, actors and musicians, took place over the weekend in Warsaw. The meeting was organised under the European Union’s social dialogue rules which were adopted for the audiovisual sector in 2004. Over 130 participants debated on the need for social dialogue in new EU member states and how it can improve quality and professionalism. 

Speaking at the opening session, European Federation of Journalists General Secretary Aidan White encouraged all sides to take a positive approach to social dialogue. “Some people are too cautious, they think that social dialogue is a lightning rod for conflict, it isn’t.” he said. He did not know of a more important moment for creative, intelligent people from all sides of the industry to meet together to discuss the future. 

The declaration agreed in Warsaw reaffirms that social dialogue “is important in all matters related to workforce” and that both parties are “committed to growth ensuring vitality and quality of the sector”. It further reminds the freedom of association and negotiation as ratified under ILO Conventions and it calls on EU countries to support social dialogue. 

“This declaration reaffirms basic principles of freedom which are particularly important in new EU member states”, said White, “but as unions we know that it also covers basic issues such as the professional status of workers in the industry and collective bargaining. These are paramount for many journalists in broadcasting across Europe”. 

Following the adoption of this Declaration, representatives of the European social partners will continue to meet regularly in Brussels and discuss in priority on training and on topics included in the upcoming Green Book of the European Commission on labour law, such as the professional status of workers in the audiovisual industry. 

For further information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 22 00 
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in more than 30 countries