From a pan-European exposé of the dangers of pesticides to scrutiny of the largest EU stimulus package in history, cross-border investigations supported by the IJ4EU fund tackle ambitious topics in the public interest.

As many grantees from the latest IJ4EU round put the finishing touches on their investigations, teams that were quick to publish have already made headlines across Europe.

In 2021, the IJ4EU fund awarded more than €1.1 million to 43 transnational teams under two grant schemes: the Investigation Support Scheme and the Freelancer Support Scheme.

Below are some of the first projects to go to press. Stay tuned for more. And check out our IJ4EU Podcast for the backstories to IJ4EU investigations. In regular episodes, we’ll grill grantees about their behind-the-scenes adventures.

Pesticides at Work

Agricultural workers across Europe are at the mercy of pesticides. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease or cancer, they are overlooked and undercompensated, this pan-European investigation led by Investigative Reporting Denmark reveals.

The Vapour Trail

This cross-border collaboration between French daily Le Monde and Dutch reporters collective The Investigative Desk exposes a secret alliance between Big Tobacco and networks of U.S. oil tycoons to thwart regulations on e-cigarettes and promote laissez-faire policies in Europe.

See our related IJ4EU podcast: Big Tobacco’s libertarian smokescreen.

A Small Haven for White-Collar Crime

Based on documents from the Pandora Papers, the biggest leak of offshore financial data in history, this investigation exposes fraud, tax evasion and asset-stashing in Slovenia and Croatia.

See our related IJ4EU podcast: Pandora Papers: Dodgy dealings in Slovenia and Croatia.

Chinese Underworld

Violence, political connections and dirty business. This cross-border investigation led by info.nodes, an Italian journalism outfit, exposes the criminal activities of the main Chinese mafia group in Europe.

The Recovery Files

 A team of 20 journalists from 16 EU member states joins forces to investigate the EU’s €723.8 billion package to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. How were plans drafted? How will money be spent? What does this all mean for our democracies?

Financing Hezbollah

Three brothers; three continents; financial ties stretching from Kinshasa to Beirut. Those are just some of the ingredients of this cross-border investigation into the role of the Tajideens, a Lebanese family who made their fortune in Africa, in circumventing U.S. sanctions against Hezbollah.

Cultivating the Organic Union

A cross-border team of freelance journalists has spent the past six months investigating the EU organic farming sector’s dependence on workers from abroad, who are at risk of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

Europe’s Wasteland

China’s decision in 2018 to ban waste imports generated a global tsunami of trash, as rubbish exporters scrambled to find alternative dumping grounds. Romania, Poland and Bulgaria have become hotspots for the multi-billion-euro illegal waste businesses, this cross-border investigation reveals.