The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is a no-profit organisation founded on 2 June 2015 in Leipzig, Germany. As a pan-European organisation of journalists, the core targets of the ECPMF are to monitor the application of the European Charter on Freedom of the Press, signed in 2009, and to fight back against attacks on press and media freedom. Its founding members include 25 organisations from across Europe, based on a European Charta signed by 48 editors-in-chief and leading journalists. It is in the process of being established as a European cooperative society. It acts based on its Statute and on a Code of Conduct.
The ECPMF unites media, press organizations and academia in concrete solidarity initiatives to underpin media freedom across the continent. Members of the ECPMF can be individuals, academic bodies, unions, investigative journalist organisations, media industry, campaigning and aid organisations, and so on. It works as a central monitoring body and contact point on press freedom violations. Its activities include the “journalists in residence” programme, diplomatic efforts, international petitions, fact finding missions, campaigning, rapid response forces, legal aid, and legislative initiatives in support to press freedom.
The ECPMF started within a pilot project, funded at 70% by the European Commission , as well as by the city of Leipzig, the German Foreign Ministry, the State Chancellery of Saxony and the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, after an all-party initiative at the European Parliament spearheaded by Martin Schulz, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, and Elmar Brok.
The ECPMF aims to organise journalists' solidarity across Europe, and it is run as a consortium among six organisations from four different EU countries, committed to promote media freedom: the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, Germany (coordinator); Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso in Rovereto, Italy; South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO-IPI) in Vienna; Ossigeno per l'informazione in Rome, Italy; the Institute of European Media Law (EMR) in Saarbrücken, Germany; and Journalismfund.eu in Zellik, Belgium.
The first ECPMF Conference in October 2015 ended with an "Appeal to the journalists of Europe on the refugee crisis"
The ECPMF also provide an online Research Centre, an open platform developed and run by Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, as a specialised repository on the themes of media freedom in Europe, aimed at systematising existing materials and provide easier access to journalists, media practitioners, policy-makers, scholars and the general public.