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

Uncheckable: “Belgium is the country that gives the largest amount of money to polluting diesel”

On 2 October 2021, Conner Rousseau (Vooruit) said in an interview that Belgium is the country that gives the largest amount of money to polluting diesel. Is this statement true? And maybe even more important: how and why does Belgium spend money on this fuel? After doing research and interviewing experts we can say that…

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Mostly true: “In September, wind energy only produced 2% of the energy needs”

On 5 October 2021, British broadcaster and former politician Nigel Farage made a statement about wind energy in September 2021. During the show “FOX Business” on the broadcaster FOX he said that “in September wind energy only produced 2% of the energy needs”. This statement is mostly true. Nigel Farage is a British broadcaster and…

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True: „One third of EU exports to South Korea are made in Germany“

The lobby organization Initiative for Social Market Economy (INSM) published nine facts about the EU on their website. One of them is “One third of EU exports to South Korea are made in Germany”, which seemed to be true.  The INSM is financed by employers’ associations and, according to its own statement, acts independently of political parties. As…

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Mostly False: “OSCE sent way less observers to german elections in 2021 than in 2017”

Russia Today DE claims that there have been only four OSCE-observers at the German Bundestag elections this year, whereas there have been 59 at the 2017 elections. Though the numbers were not incorrect, RT DE left out crucial information about how they were formed, drastically changing the bottom line and possible interpretations of the claim.…

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False: “The government doesn’t lose money because of tax evasion. She compensates through higher tax assessments on others”

The Pandora Papers have revealed tax evasion from around the world. Peter De Roover, a Belgian politician, tweeted on October 7th: “The government doesn’t lose money because of tax evasion. She simply compensates through higher tax assessments on others. In fraud, the good taxpayer is the victim, not the government.” His claim is false. “RESEARCH…

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Mostly True: “In 2020, Germany contributed almost 20 billion Euros to the EU”

On August 8th 2021, Alice Weidel, member of the German parliament and part of a right-winged populist political party, tweeted about Germany’s contributions to the European Union. She stated that the overall payments added up to almost 20 billion Euros, twice as much as France has paid. The claim turns out to be mostly true. According…

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Mostly True: “Austria spends over one billion euros on development cooperation and humanitarian aid, the value has increased tenfold”

On 6th of September 2021, the former chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz made a statement during an interview with the Austrian TV-Channel ORF where he outlined that Austria is spending over one billion euros on development cooperation and humanitarian aid. He also said that since he is in charge the money Austria spends in this…

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Uncheckable: “The use of cannabis will increase if a country chooses to legalize”

On the 29th of September, Belgian politician Bart De Wever (N-VA) tweeted how bad the legalization of cannabis would be. Based on a recent Canadian study (Statistics Canada) , legalization resulted in more cannabis use in the country. Canada being the only country in the world, besides Uruguay, where cannabis is completely legal. Does legalization…

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True: „More than 70 percent of adults in the EU are fully vaccinated”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission since 2019, stated on the 15th September 2021 in her speech in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that more than 70 percent of the European adult population were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This claim turns out to be true. Every September the President of…

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Latest blog posts

Blog: The European agricultural subsidies reach the big players, but how does that occur in reality?

No less than 59 billion euros were awarded to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2019. That is approximately 36% of the total EU budget. European policy provides for enough food to be harvested in a sustainable way. In addition, consumers should be able to buy agricultural products at a reasonable price and farmers should…

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Blog: Why does the European Commission provide grants for the initiatives in Russia and other countries?

Recently, the Russian media has repeatedly reported that the European Commission intends to allocate funds for the implementation of projects in Russia and other countries. The projects are aimed at developing civil society and democratic transformation, promoting freedom of expression and media literacy, improving understanding of EU policy.

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© Kayla Empey, 2020

Media monitoring: the relationship between the coronavirus and weather in British media

Since the coronavirus outbreak, there has been an ongoing conversation within the media worldwide about weather and its potential impact on the virus. Weather is a complex topic, as there are a lot of aspects to be considered. Elements such as temperature, humidity, latitude, people staying inside more when it is cold, vitamins due to…

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female heads of state gender equality

Blog: EU: Do female heads of state ensure gender equality?

Writers Julia Harder and Gwen Rochat, Journalism students at Windesheim University Zwolle, The Netherlands, noticed a tweet from the Icelandic Prime Minister, saying Iceland is the frontrunner in gender equality. In making this factcheck, we realized there is no yes/no answer to our question: the situation is far more complex. For example, we expected that…

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Blog: Widely known COVID-19 conspiracies in Georgia

Coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied with a dissemination of fake news and conspiracy theories. Georgia was no exception, as various groups, including pro-Kremlin, ultra-national, and radical groups have been referring to COVID-19 as an artificially created virus, spreading fear, and associating the virus with the 5G Internet. One of the authors of the disinformation and…

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© Veera Nikkanen, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Blog: Covid-19 News Coverage Highlights Agriculture’s Dependence on Migrant Workers

During the first weeks of the pandemic, headlines were about people hoarding toilet paper and long-lasting goods such as pasta and dry yeast. The concern about agriculture and gardening industries started to gain headlines as the pandemic continued to spread We analysed media coverage of agricultural themes from March 19 until the end of April.

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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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