EUfactcheck #10 ‘EU Elections 2024’

This spring season students from the EJTA journalism schools will once again check statements about topics in the upcoming EU elections. In their home universities and in cooperation with students from other EJTA schools they will produce fact checks, analyses and blogs. We expect to publish the first posts in early April. Follow us here or on  X and on our Facebook page.

EUfactcheck, an initiative of the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) fights misinformation about European policies and topics. Journalism students from all over Europe factcheck claims made by politicians and others and rate them. Our focus is not to debunk fake news or disinformation but to give correct information to the reader.

Latest fact-checks

Mostly true: “180,000 tonnes of plastic pellets lost into the European environment yearly”

They are small, but far from harmless when they end up in the environment. Member of the European Parliament Grace O’Sullivan (The Greens/ EFA) said that 180,000 tonnes of the granules used to produce plastic products get lost in the value chain, harming the biosphere. EUfactcheck discovered that a rather high estimate was chosen from…

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Mostly True: “A Dexit would mean a loss of prosperity of 400 to 500 billion euros per year”

In view of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen had clear words on the German AfD’s plans to leave the European Union. During a speech at the CDU federal party conference on May 8, 2024, von der Leyen said about the right-wing populist party:…

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FALSE: “Barcelona has become the city with the highest crime rate in Spain and is an example of the failure of multiculturalism”

Jorge Buxadé, one of the leaders and the spokesperson of the extreme right-wing Spanish party Vox, claimed that “Barcelona has become the city with the highest crime rate in Spain and is an example of the failure of multiculturalism”. EUfactcheck looked into this claim and the source it was based on, and found out that…

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Uncheckable: “The AfD are the arsonists who are planning to deport our neighbors”

At the start of the European election campaign the leading politician of the Left Party Carola Rackete gave a speech in Berlin. Among other things she accuses the party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) of the following: “The AfD is threatening to set fire to our democracy: They are the arsonists who are planning to deport…

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Mostly False: Great Britain deports illegal immigrants to their home country

At the start of the 2024 European election campaign, German politician Marc Jongen is running for the right-wing populist party AfD. In his campaign speech, he said that the illegal entry of migrants must be stopped in Germany and that migrants who have already entered the country must be returned to their home countries. He…

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True (but requires context): Finland faces the highest costs under EU’s environmental restoration law relative to its economy

Kai Mykkänen, Minister of Climate and the Environment (The National Coalition Party – EPP) claimed that Finland voted against the European nature restoration law because of its excessive costs: “According to the Commission’s impact assessment, the costs are the highest in the EU for Finland in relation to the size of its economy.” The claim…

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TRUE: “80% of European agricultural funding goes to just 20% of companies”

80% of European agricultural funding goes to just 20% of companies. But does three quarters effectively go to only a fifth of companies? EUfactcheck found out that these figures were indeed studied a few years ago. The claim turned out to be correct. On 9 February, Vooruit (Flemish social democrats) politician Bruno Tobback shared a…

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MOSTLY TRUE : “30 million Europeans live with a rare disease”

Belgian MEP Frédérique Ries (Renew Europe) claimed in the plenary meeting of April 10th 2024, that 30 million European citizens suffer from a rare disease. She made that claim in the context of the biggest pharmaceutical reform Renew Europe puts its shoulder under. Do 30 million Europeans really have a rare disease? According a study…

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Mostly false: “Trans is a dangerous trend – Gender-affirming surgeries in Germany have increased from 120 in 2005 to 2.598 in 2021”

In the documentary “Trans is a Trend: How an Ideology is Changing Our Country”, published on the German news website NIUS.de, authors Judith Sevinc Basad and Jan A. Karon claim that gender-affirming surgeries in Germany have increased from 120 in 2005 to 2.598 in 2021. They also argue that being trans is a dangerous trend…

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False: There is a direct connection between COVID vaccines and excess mortality

In the “Europawahlprogramm 2024” (European Election Program 2024) of the German political party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), alleged dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines are highlighted. The program claims a direct connection between these vaccines and excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. This claim turns out to be false. “Due to (…) an alarming excess mortality,…

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Latest blog posts

Transidentity: clearing up common myths to promote acceptance and equality

Germany’s Self-Determination Act is an example for the increase in visibility and discussion surrounding transgender identity within the EU. However, discrimination against transgender individuals persists, highlighting the ongoing need for greater acceptance and equality. To address misconceptions surrounding trans identity, we explore common myths with insights from experts and those directly affected. The topic Transidentity…

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Blog: Global warming affects both: Nature and human beings

Experts warn of the consequences of rising seas due to climate change. Our reporter Lennart Platz travelled to a place where future generations will soon be getting their feet wet – the Wadden Sea World Heritage. RESEARCH | ARTICLE – Lennart Platz and Moritz Orth, Jade University of Applied Sciences, Germany Leave your comments, thoughts,…

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Blog: Looking Behind the Headlines – Media Ethics and Seniors’ Driving Ability

In today’s fast-paced media landscape, discussions about older people’s ability to drive often drift into tricky territory, rife with stereotypes and prejudice. But is there more to the stereotypes than meets the eye? In this blog post, we have a closer look at how senior citizens are portrayed in the media and what responsibility the…

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Blog: Navigating Press Freedom Challenges in Overwhelmed Health Systems

“You’re not from the FAZ or another major media outlet.” This incidental comment during our research for our factcheck on the rise in cholera numbers resonates in our minds and illustrates a bitter reality: journalists outside of large editorial offices are fighting against invisibility and a lack of respect. Our research work during the factcheck,…

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Blog: Fair Play in Danger? A referees’ gaze on game cancellation in amateur football

In the past years a dangerous wave of discrimina6on and violence has been sweeping through amateur football, which has led to a rise in game cancella6ons. This ar6cle shines a light on the concerning development through the eyes of a referee and shows how the fair play aspect can once again gain more importance and…

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Blog: Abortions in Germany: Does hate towards those affected and those helping them lead to more abortions?

The number of abortions is increasing and the birth rate is continuing to decline in Germany. Women not only encounter personal challenges, but also digital hate being in this situation. Helpers such as grief counselor Simone Streif and head of the pro familia counseling center Jana Rabsztyn experience pressure from the outside as well. A…

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Blog: Unwrapping the environmental impact of shopping

Do you think you’re aware of the environmental impact of your daily coffee cup or candy packaging? This video sheds light on the hidden environmental costs associated with common products. Learn about the significant resource consumption of disposable cups and the excessive plastic in snack packaging. The video also provides practical tips for more sustainable…

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European Journalism Training Association EJTA
Council of Europe
evens foundation
Group photo EUFACTCHECK 240119

The EUFACTCHECK project

EUFACTCHECK is the fact-checking project of the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) that intends to build a sustainable curriculum unit on fact-checking within a European network of Journalism schools.

Through fact-checking European political claims and trying to tackle misinformation, we want our students and our public to grow a deeper insight and interest in democratic processes, both on national and European level.

EUFACTCHECK wishes to motivate fact-based debate in the EU and to stimulate media and information literacy.

Our history

After the success of the students’ publications, the participants of EJTA’s fact-checking project EUFACTCHECK decided at the EJTA AGM in Paris (July 2019) to move on with the project and to take new steps in the academic year 2019-2020.

By January-February 2019 a manual with guidelines and tips & tricks was published. In February 2020 a second Bootcamp will be organised in Ljubljana, with financial help from the Evens Foundation. This Train the Trainer focused on Central Eastern European countries, some new schools joined this project.
During corona the EJTA-schools continued to verify claims and publish fact checks. Now we are looking ahead to the 2024 EU elections.

For information about the EUfactcheck project please contact the programme manager: carien.touwen@hu.nl 

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