An independent jury has selected 10 cross-border teams  of freelance journalists to receive support under the latest round of IJ4EU’s special scheme for journalists operating outside of newsroom structures.

Run by the European Journalism Centre (EJC), IJ4EU’s Freelancer Support Scheme is designed for teams composed predominantly of freelancers  who collaborate on transnational investigations into topics of public interest in Europe and beyond. It offers funding, mentoring, training and networking opportunities.

The selected projects 

The external jury awarded a total of €158,920 to 10 proposals. The successful teams include journalists based in 18 different countries. 

Here are summaries of the successful investigations and the awarded amounts, in no particular order:

  • Freelance journalists in Ukraine and Poland will investigate how Russia’s war of aggression has affected the school system in Ukraine and Poland, and the impact on schoolchildren. Awarded amount: €12,800
  • A team of journalists from Romania, Moldova and France will investigate a Russian propaganda network heavily involved in trashing national vaccination programmes during the pandemic. €18,600
  • A cross-border team investigating public health/wellbeing in Europe – €19,940
  • A cross-border investigative team from Chile, Italy, France, Denmark and Sweden will track down people who were illegally adopted as children in Chile from 1950 and trafficked around the world. The team will seek to identify those responsible for the trafficking. €12,000
  • An investigation titled “Who cleans Europe?” aims to expose the covert recruitment networks enabling the exploitation of migrant workers in the cleaning industry across Europe. €14,060
  • An investigation by journalists in Moldova, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria will reveal how leading Russian businessmen are trying to stay active in EU companies they control by acquiring citizenship of other countries, with Moldova their favourite target. The investigation will show how their illegal activities are aided by public officials and private intermediaries from at least four countries. €19,950
  • Journalists from France, Germany and Turkey will investigate the illicit surrogacy trade in Turkey, Northern Cyprus and Georgia. They aim to bring attention to the underground industry that has emerged following a ban on commercial surrogacy in Turkey. €19,410
  • A cross-border team from Germany, Georgia and Serbia will investigate how European money is used to fund China’s Belt and Road Initiative. €14,790
  • Journalists in France, Germany, Thailand and Myanmar will investigate a multi-million-euro global online scam industry based in Southeast Asia that targets Europeans and is managed by Chinese mafia groups. €19,520
  • A cross-border investigative team will examine the rise of “eco-vandalism” in France, Germany and Italy. €7,850

About the Freelancer Support Scheme 

The Freelancer Support Scheme is one of two grant schemes offered by the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund, which supports cross-border, collaborative journalism in the European Union and beyond.

The Freelancer Support Scheme runs in parallel to the Investigation Support Scheme, managed by the International Press Institute

Following the latest call for applications, a separate independent jury awarded almost €540,000 in funding to 17 cross-border reporting teams under the Investigation Support Scheme.

Under the latest round of calls for the Freelancer Support Scheme and Investigation Support Scheme, 235 investigative teams with journalists based in 70 countries applied for a combined €6.95 million in funding.

The next call for proposals under both schemes will open on September 2, 2024.

Interested in learning more about projects previously funded by IJ4EU? Check out the projects section on the IJ4EU site.