Tigers, coronavirus and €1 billion in missing EU funds are among the subjects tackled by the latest IJ4EU grantees to go to press after months working on cross-border investigations in the public interest.
Of the 49 projects awarded a combined €1.07 million in funding under the 2020/21 edition of the Investigative Journalism for Europe, more than half have published stories from their investigations.
- See also: New IJ4EU investigations make headlines.
Illegal trafficking of endangered tigers is a booming business in Europe — and Italy and France are two hotspots, according to this investigation by a cross-border team of journalists, data wranglers and media organisations.
Major drugmakers had the EU over a barrel as member states rushed to procure life-saving COVID-19 jabs, while “flaws” in contracts between the European Commission and Big Pharma have dogged vaccination plans, this data-driven investigation shows.
The European Commission has invested €1.11 billion into Romania’s Danube Delta, a UNESCO world heritage site. But instead of alleviating poverty and preserving the unique ecology of Europe’s largest wetland, the funds fell under the control of a network of Romanian politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.
This cross-border collaboration reveals the extent of Hungary’s influence-peddling in neighbouring Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia as the national-populist government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ploughs hundreds of millions of euros into grants for Hungarian minority organisations abroad.
By “following the money”, investigative journalists show how disinformation spreads in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The team scrutinises “fake news” networks controlled by Russia and examines the financial incentives of key influencers in the disinformation game.
Why were some communities in Europe worse hit by COVID-19 than others? This data-driven investigation seeks to find out, drawing on dozens of sources of regional statistics to paint an unprecedented picture of regional and local differences.
A handful of multinationals are using EU fishing quotas to dominate the seas — with serious consequences for traditional fishing communities in northern Europe, this cross-border investigation finds, taking us all the way to the Faroe Islands.
Violent gangsters, toxic landfills, underground transport routes… These are the dirty secrets of illegal waste disposal in the European Union as criminal networks dump mountains of garbage in the bloc’s own backyard.
Criminals are taking advantage of “report-this-user” systems designed to protect people on Facebook and Instagram to hijack accounts and make money, this investigation led by AlgorithmWatch reveals.
Across Europe, the “Green Dot” logo on plastic bottles promotes recycling, but organisations behind the symbol have opposed national and European environmental legislation in their quest for profits, this cross-border investigation shows.
To see all IJ4EU investigations published so far, visit our projects section.
Cover photo (top) by Roman Kraft on Unsplash