Six European fact-checkers and organizations investigating disinformation will guide the process to create the Code of Professional Integrity for Independent European fact-checking with the support of the European Commission

AFP (France), Correctiv (Germany), Demagog (Poland), Pagella Politica/ Facta (Italy) and EU DisinfoLab (Belgium) led by Fundación Maldita.es (Spain) conform a consortium under the name of European Fact-checking Standards Project that will use its experience and contacts within the fact-checking and OSINT community to define the standards of independence, transparency and methodological and journalistic quality needed to be recognized as an independent fact-checking organization in Europe. 

Setting those standards, as well as mechanisms to evaluate their compliance or to help organizations reach them, can only be done by the European independent fact-checkers themselves through discussion and agreement. The task this consortium faces is to bring together European fact-checking and OSINT organizations to discuss and agree on that set of standards. This consensus should be translated into a Code of Professional Integrity for independent European fact-checkers, together with a mechanism to implement it and help organizations fulfill its requirements.

As part of the Call of Integrity of Social Media, this pilot project will complement EDMO’s efforts in providing targeted support to the European strategy to tackle disinformation and to the development of a European ecosystem of independent fact-checking organizations that monitor, identify, study and counter disinformation campaigns. This project will pull together fact-checking organizations from across Europe and draw up a Code of professional integrity for European fact- checking organizations, pilot its implementation and support relevant organizations to adhere to it .

Throughout 2022 and 2023 and with the support of the European Commission, these six organizations will undertake the task of making sure the requirements and standards set by the Code are the result of an in-depth conversation and wide consensus among the European organisations, enriched with the advice of academics and other experts in the field.

By being representative of both the independent European fact-checkers and Open Source Investigation Organisations working on disinformation campaigns, the Code will have the full legitimacy that it needs to be recognized and implemented. A legitimacy that will lend to its Governance Body, appointed by the community, that will evaluate organizations’ compliance with the Code after examining independent reviews. 

The members of this European Fact-checking Standards Network (EFCSN) have extensive experience in the activities that will ensure wide dissemination for the Code and the training and educational opportunities that will help organizations fulfill its requirements. 

EFCSN is supported by the European Union under the 2020 work programme on the financing of Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions in the field of “Communications Networks, Content and Technology”