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Call for proposals | Publication

Media freedom and investigative journalism

The European Union is making EUR 3.75 million available for actions to support media freedom and investigative journalism.

Media freedom and pluralism are essential pillars of any democracy and crucial conditions for an open and free democratic debate. They are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 11(2)).

In December 2020, the Commission adopted the European Democracy Action Plan with the aim to strengthen the resilience of European democracies. Media freedom and pluralism is a central part of the action plan, which announces measures to promote media pluralism, including sustainable funding for projects with a focus on legal and practical assistance to journalists in the EU and elsewhere.

Physical attacks on, online incitement and abusive lawsuits against, death threats to and, even, assassinations of investigative journalists in the EU have brought to the fore the dangers which investigative journalists often face and, consequently, the need to enhance their protection. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has proved the importance of reliable news and demonstrated the essential role of journalists in our societies, it has also exacerbated the already existing threats to journalists and their safety.

Journalists increasingly investigate issues of common interest to citizens of several Member States. However, such cross-border investigations tend to be complex and resource-intensive and often lack adequate funding.

The EU is launching a Call for Proposals for the following two Preparatory Actions:

Preparatory Action: A Europe-wide response mechanism for violations of press and media freedom (Action 1)

The Europe-wide rapid response mechanism for violations of press and media freedom is meant to mitigate the consequences of the deterioration of press and media freedom in certain Member States and Candidate Countries. It will also provide a systematic monitoring of violations of press and media freedom across the European Union. This mechanism will make violations visible and provide legal and practical support to journalists under threat. It will be carried out in collaboration with European, regional and local stakeholders in the field of media freedom.

This project is expected to support the activities of one consortium of organisations working together to uphold media freedom and safety of journalists in the EU and Candidate Countries.

Total budget: 1.950.000 €

Preparatory Action: Emergency support fund for investigative journalists and media organisations to ensure media freedom in the EU (Action 2)

The work of independent media organisations and investigative journalists is crucial to reveal wrongdoing throughout the Union and beyond its borders, including money laundering and corruption. Quality investigative journalism requires proper tools and resources. Yet, investigative journalists are extremely vulnerable professionals with very limited resources.

The aim of this preparatory action is to create an emergency support fund for investigative journalists and media organisations to improve press and media freedom and to prevent violations thereof by supporting the production of quality independent journalistic content in the public interest, including through cross-border cooperation.

This action is expected to fund activities of one consortium of organisations.

Total budget: 1.800.000 

Questions for this call should be sent at the latest on 22 October 2021 to

The questions and answers will be published, anonymously, on this page (more information on your personal data).


1) Call for proposals (.pdf)
2) Model grant agreement (.pdf)
3) Grant application form (Word)
4) Declaration on honour (Word)
5) Financial identification (.pdf)
6) Legal Entity form - Private (.pdf)
7) Legal Entity form - Public (.pdf)
8) Estimated budget form (Excel)
9) BS & P&L - financial viability checktool with results (Excel)
10) PrivacyStatement (.pdf)
11) Clarifications (12 October 2021)