EUfactcheck #8 ‘Cross-national fact checking’

This winter season students from the EJTA journalism schools will work together in cross-national teams on fact checks and blogs. A variety of European topics will be addressed: polarisation, climate change, migration, defence budgets and more. Follow us here or on our Twitter and 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

False: “The travel time from The Netherlands to Berlin by train is as long as twenty years ago”

In an election debate in the Dutch news programme Nieuwsuur, European taxes for plane tickets were discussed. If and when this becomes reality, fast alternatives are important. According to Esther de Lange, member of the European Parliament for the Christian democrats, alternatives are still not fast enough to be an option. She said: ‘The travel…

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Mostly false: “Contributing to climate policy […] appears to be not that popular with the members of GreenLeft”

Dutch party leader Derk Jan Eppink of Forum for Democracy (FvD) claimed in a televised elections’ debate on 13 May that the Dutch Greens are not very eager to contribute financially to climate change. Eppink based his claim on a recent survey by Ipsos and, as it seems, on an article in national newspaper De Telegraaf.…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “According to studies, the majority of Germans, French, and Brits do not even want to defend their own country”

On April 2, Finnish politician Asseri Kinnunen sent out a claim on Twitter about the willingness to defend one’s country in the three most populous EU countries. Kinnunen is the chairman of The Finns Party Youth and a candidate in the upcoming European Parliament elections. The tweet was part of the discussion around the Finnish…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “Yearly, 825 billion euros in tax payments are being evaded in the European Union”

“Yearly, 825 billion euros in tax payments are being evaded in the European Union. On top of that, the EU loses 160 to 190 billion euros due to tax avoidance.” This is a claim by Belgian politician and MEP Kathleen Van Brempt. Astronomical numbers, but where do they come from? And how reliable can these…

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False: “Small and medium-sized enterprises employ 90 percent of the workforce in the EU area”

Member of the European Parliament Petri Sarvamaa claimed that small and medium-sized enterprises employ 90 percent of the workforce in the EU area. This false claim was made on 12th April 2019 in a press meeting at the Finnish bureau of the European Parliament in Helsinki. Sarvamaa made the claim when asked what differences parties…

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Mostly true: “German CO2 emissions […] are now to be reduced, while developing countries […] may increase their emissions indefinitely.”

During a public hearing of a committee of the German parliament, Marc Bernhard of the right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) criticized the German strategy for climate protection. To his mind, reducing national CO2 emissions is not effective. In this fact check we show that Bernhard uses correct numbers but interprets them in a misleading…

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Mostly true: “The probability of sleep and learning problems, depression and diabetes amongst pupils would be massively increased by a permanent changeover to summer time”

  In March 2019, the German Teachers‘ Association approved of the decision of the EU Parliament to abolish the time change. However, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the association, thinks there is a health risk for students if a country switches to summer time permanently: The probability of sleeping and learning problems, depression and diabetes has…

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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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