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Defending Media Freedom & Pluralism


4pm Irish time

This call is now closed

Close-up of a journalist holding two mics and writing in a notebook.

The European Democracy Action Plan stresses that transparency and compliance with professional norms and standards are essential for public trust in the media and aims to support EU cooperation between national media councils, other media self-regulatory bodies, independent media regulators and networks of journalists, and initiatives fostering journalistic partnerships and standards.

At the same time, the Action Plan highlighted that physical and online threats and attacks on journalists are on the rise in several Member States and proposes sustainable funding for projects with a focus on legal and practical assistance to journalists in the EU and elsewhere, including safety and cybersecurity training for journalists and diplomatic support.

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  1. Within the specific objective to promote policy cooperation and innovative actions supporting all strands of the Programme and to promote a diverse, independent and pluralistic media environment and media literacy, thereby fostering freedom of artistic expression, intercultural dialogue and social inclusion, the priorities of the cross sectoral strand shall include promotion of cross-sectoral activities that aim at adjusting to the structural and technological changes faced by the media, including enhancing a free, diverse, and pluralistic media environment, quality journalism and media, literacy including in the digital environment.

Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of at least two applicants - beneficiaries, not affiliated entities - which both comply with the following conditions:

  • minimum 2 independent entities from 2 different eligible countries
  • proposals may be submitted by any of the following applicants or combinations of non-profit organisations (private or public); international organisations; universities; educational institutions; research centres.

One project in each topic is expected to be funded.


  • Press and media councils and professional standards: Maintenance and development of the database
  • Exchange of best practices
  • Strengthening of the pan-EU Working Group
  • Support to new media councils
  • Trainings for journalists
  • Cooperation with media regulators
  • Further research on journalistic standards


  • Monitoring violations of press and media freedom and providing practical help to protect journalists under threat
  • Design and manage a Europe-wide rapid response mechanism to support media freedom and journalists' safety, covering all EU Member States.
  • Provide legal and practical support to journalists and other media practitioners in need.
  • Organise advocacy missions to locations where journalists are under threat.
  • Monitor the state of media freedom in the EU Member States and Candidate Countries.
  • Organise awareness raising campaigns in the field of media freedom and safety of journalists.
  • Ensure communication and dissemination activities. Monitor and evaluate the action.

Read the full call document for details of the activities that should be included.

  • Project budget (maximum grant amount): No limit. The grant awarded may be lower than the amount requested.
  • Guideline €1m to develop press and media councils, and professional standards.
  • Guideline €3.1m to monitor violations of media freedom and provide help to protect journalists under threat.