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

True: “More pensioners than ever need basic income support”

On August 29th 2023, the German news channel “Tagesschau” published a report indicating that in Germany more than 680 000 pensioners were dependent on basic income support in the first quarter of 2023. More than ever before. This worrying development was outlined with reference to the German Federal Statistical Office. It comes out to be…

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Mostly True: “Alcohol consumption among young people at an all time low”

On June 23rd 2022, the Tagesschau published an article on alcohol consumption by teenagers and young adults. The article is titled “Alcohol consumption among young people at an all time low” and focuses on the changing consumption behavior towards alcohol, smoking and cannabis among teenagers (12 to 17 years) and young adults (18 to 25…

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Mostly True: The European population perceives climate change as a serious problem

On July 20th, 2023, the German representation of the European Commission published a press release entitled: “Eurobarometer survey: climate change is a serious problem and should be tackled more quickly”. The claim that can be derived from this is that the European population perceives climate change as a serious problem. The statistics are correctly reproduced…

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False: “300,000 rejected asylum seekers receive full welfare benefits”

Friedrich Merz, Federal Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), said in an interview on the Television show “Welt Talk”: “People go crazy when they see that 300,000 asylum seekers are rejected, don’t leave the country, get the full benefits, get the full welfare benefits.” After checking the facts, it turns out that…

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Uncheckable: “Oktoberfest 2023: Numbers of assaults against girls and women significantly decrease”

In an article from the German news website “Merkur.de”, journalist Lisa Metzger claims that the number of assaults against girls and women decreased significantly. According to our research, this statement appears to be uncheckable. In the article “Wiesn 2023: Significantly fewer assaults on women than the previous year – Suspected cases of date rape drugs…

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Mostly True: “Unemployment rate in the euro area at record low”

On 2nd of October 2023 the German newspaper FAZ published an article stating that the unemployment rate in the 20 eurozone countries in august 2023 was 6.4% (10.9 million people). The headline of the article is: “Unemployment rate in the euro area at record low”. This claim turns out to be mostly true. The German…

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FALSE: “On average, a Flemish livestock farm emits 20 to 28 tonnes of ammonia”

The Flemish Minister of Environment, Zuhal Demir (N-VA), said about the nitrogen crisis in Flanders that “30 tonnes of ammonia is emitted by an average Flemish livestock farm“. Although the minister at first maintained that her figure was correct, we at EUfactcheck made her administration admit that it was a ‘typo’. The claim thus turns…

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fact checking

Mostly false: Fewer than 4,400 wind turbines generate the same as three nuclear power plants

On March 1st, the Dutch right-wing political party JA21 tweeted that they would not want to see the Netherlands covered with wind turbines but instead prefer to build nuclear power plants. JA21 asserts nuclear energy to be a “clean and stable energy source”. In their tweet they claim that 4,400 wind turbines generate the same…

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FALSE: “Belgium has the highest public expenditure and the highest structural deficit”

Bart De Wever, the mayor of the Belgian city of Antwerp and chairman of the Flemish right-wing political party N-VA, claimed that “Belgium has the highest public expenditure and the highest structural deficit of the EU.” EUfactcheck looked into this claim and the source it was based on, and found out that the statement made…

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Mostly true: “Sustainable aviation leads to job loss, higher travel costs and low passenger demand”

An article titled “Sustainable Aviation: Increased cost of greener aviation will curtail pax demand” posted in TR Business (a business to business trade magazine) on 17 April 2023 reports that greener aviation will lead to a loss of thousands of jobs, higher travel costs and low passenger demand. As climate change due to air carbonization…

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Latest blog posts

Media analysis: Finnish media stays united behind universal military service

Finland’s defence capability became the focus of international media attention after Russia invaded Ukraine. Finland holds a very special geopolitical position in Europe because it has 1300 kilometres border with Russia. In particular, Finland’s position regarding the defense union NATO has become a question of interest. Finland’s military service system is universal, which means that…

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Pastoral workers help young people with suicidal thoughts

As several studies show, corona-lockdowns have led to increased psychological distress to all ages. International suicide hotlines, where pastoral workers take the time to listen, might help. This video is linked to the fact-check article Drastic increase in suicide attempts by children. Leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions in the box below. Take note: your…

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Media Analysis: Croatia – a guardian of EU borders or a ruthless violator of human rights?

Introduction and context In a recent factcheck article, our colleagues from the Media University Stuttgart checked the claim of Mr. Nikola Milina, the head of Croatian police, who said that the violent pushbacks at the Croatian-Bosnian border published in October 2021 were an “individual event” and that he didn’t want such incident to “affect the…

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The intra-European competition for vaccination progress

An urgent and almost pressing undertone is given by articles such as “The EU countries in comparison: Who vaccinates faster against Covid-19?” by Euronews or “Covid vaccinations – Which country is on the top?” by ZDF which are issued to the broad German-speaking population. It brings up the question: Is this constant comparison of European…

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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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