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: Based on preliminary research data, the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccination has a 100 % shield against Covid cases for 12–15-year-olds

Pfizer-Biontech released a press release on the 31st of March announcing a 100 % efficacy rate on results in a Covid vaccine study on adolescents aged from 12 to 15. Several European news media reported on this. According to the study data, this claim is mostly true. However, Finnish experts say that to analyze the…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “Ursula von der Leyen is forcing EU-members to go carbon-neutral whilst taking a private jet for half of her worldwide missions”

In January, Identity and Democracy Group posted the following via Twitter: “The European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen is pushing for a new ‘Green Deal’, forcing Member states to go carbon-neutral by 2050, but takes a private jet for half her worldwide missions.” Although public tender data suggests an increase in private air travel…

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Mostly True: A Desert Wind Blew $10 Billion of Global Trade Off Course

On March 27th Bloomberg.com states that the blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given ship was due to the wind and that as a result, this has “left $10 billion worth of goods with nowhere to go”. The claim turns out to be mostly true.                                                            While the statements are correct, there are…

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True: “The largest European exporters of weaponry to Middle East get contracts to stop refugees from entering our borders”

Journalist Kasper Goethals wrote an article for Flemish newspaper De Standaard on 6 February about the border agency Frontex. In it, Mark Akkerman of NGO ‘Stop Arms Trade’ claimed that companies like Airbus and Leonardo, who are supplying weapons to the Middle East, work with Frontex to stop refugees at the European borders. Akkerman’s research…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “European Commission famously doesn’t always move or react to democratic representations, even from its own member states”

“European Commission famously doesn’t always move or react to democratic representations, even from its own member states”, said UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice (Conservative Party) on the 25th of March 2021 in an article about EU ban on UK shellfish published by the BBC. The statement is uncheckable.…

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Mostly True: Only 10% of the (European) region’s population have received one vaccine dose and 4% have completed a full course

World Health Organization’s European head Hans Kluge stated in a Reuters article that “Only 10% of the region’s population have received one vaccine dose, and 4% have completed a full course.” The article was published on 1.4.2021. The claim appears to be mostly true. According to Reuters the article is based on WHO’s press release…

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True: “Madrid is among the European cities with the highest number of deaths per million inhabitants”

The leader of Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, stated during a televised electoral debate on 21 April that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the community of “Madrid is among the European cities with the highest number of deaths per million inhabitants (2,207) more than London, Paris, Rome or Berlin”. The claim turns out to be true.…

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Mostly true: “Catholic Church loses members – Europe-wide”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is struggling not only with scandals involving its own personnel. According to Friedel Taube, a journalist at Deutsche Welle, it is also facing a Europe-wide loss of members – especially in the Catholic strongholds. By researching hard and soft factors, this claim can be evaluated as “mostly true”. A Christian baptism…

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False: “More than 98% of people infected with the coronavirus barely experience any symptoms”

Thierry Baudet, a Dutch politician, claims that less than 2% of the people infected with the coronavirus experience symptoms. He made his claim on the 10th of January 2021 in the late-night TV show Op1. We rate the claim as false. Thierry Baudet is the front man of the political party Forum voor Democratie (Forum…

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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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