BRUSSELS - 142 million pigs, 76 million bovine heads, 62 million sheep, and 12 million goats, and counting: this is the invisible yearly population of farmed animals that live and die on the production line in Europe. Industrial livestock farming across Europe is causing widespread environmental degradation and serious damage to the health of people living in close proximity to factory farms.

PARIS / BRUSSELS / MADRID – Groundwater is the ecosystem Europe has always been able to rely on, and grew to consider an infinite resource. This cross-border investigation reveals that the current state of matters is dire: our water is disappearing and what remains is facing near-irreversible pollution.

TUNIS - Over the 2023, Tunisia has become the main crossing point for refugees and asylum seekers on their way to Europe.

KATOWICE – This investigation looks at challenges and solutions of methane emissions reduction in Europe. Is it feasible, for example, to replace coking coal, a critical yet hard-to-replace resource for the steel industry? 

REYKJAVÍK – This investigation explored the controversy around PMSG, a hormone used for meat production: How it is produced, why and where it is used, ethical debates, and the complex legal battles around it.

GAFSA – Phosphate rocks, rich is phosphorus, are the basis for most fertilisers. With growing demand for food worldwide and a growing need for fertilizers, phosphates are quickly becoming
one of the most disputed minerals. One of the crucial phosphate basins is located in southern Tunisia — the EU growing fertilisers market is drying up the area.

VIENNA - Austria: the land of towering mountains, muscle-bound movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger  and - let's not forget - the world's unrivalled apple strudels.

BRUSSELS – The link between agriculture and nature is a contested arena in Europe. Over the past decades, the European Union has become one of the leading producers and exporters of agricultural products in the world. But this has come at a great cost for Europe’s ecosystems.

BRUSSELS - Conspiratorial groups and influencers that once focussed on Covid-19 are increasingly pivoting towards attacking the EU's climate policies and sowing disinformation. Ahead of the EU's parliamentary elections, climate disinformation is ramping up, with the far-right looking to benefit.

LONDON / BERLIN – This investigation reveals how oil and gas equipment intended to reduce methane is hiding pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from researchers. And while flaring is said to be decreasing globally, in many cases, it hadn’t stopped at all.

WICKLOW / LONGFORD / CERVIA / ORISTANO / LOWER SAXONY – This investigation looked into how commercial interests backed by public money are decimating Europe’s remaining wetlands, as national authorities ignore this ongoing exploitation. 

BARCELONA / THE HAGUE / ROME - Governments across Europe use predictive algorithms in courts, prisons and police stations.

PUGLIA / AMSTERDAM – With climate change, diseases that previously wouldn't thrive in Europe have a greater chance of survival, making the peril for agriculture greater than ever. A system with very open borders for plant imports is threatening agriculture in the southern part of the European Union.

GERMANY - For years, the German right-wing politician Petr Bystron was known for his networking among right-wing movements and parties in Europe and beyond.

FORT-DE-FRANCE / BASSE TERRE – This investigation goes behind the scenes of a French state scandal, tracing a historical route from governmental actors who approved use of chlordecone, a dangerous chemical, in agriculture, to the realities of victims speaking out today. Their testimonies highlight how the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe face an environmental and sanitary disaster still ongoing.

RONCILIONE / CAMPO DE CARTAGENA – The EU aims to reduce fertiliser overuse, but it faces the resistance of the industry and farmers alike. This investigation examines the cases of two hotspots in Italy and Spain, scrutinizing contamination drivers and assessing health, environmental, and economic consequences.

BUCHAREST - For almost 9 years, Romania has been criticised and monitored by the European Commission for allowing the large-scale destruction of several mountain rivers for the purpose of building micro-hydropower plants, without complying with the Water Framework and Habitats Directives.

PAMPLONA / LISBON / BRUSSELS — Energy communities are a clean and democratic alternative entering the complex energy market. Through this model, citizens can take back the means of
energy production. This investigation looks into whether the citizen-led initiatives can fit into the market on par with the big suppliers.

SVETI NICOLE / ELBASAN – Could a waste management facility become New Chernobyl? Some people in North Macedonia are eager to believe this. This investigation looked into facts and disinformation surrounding waste management project in Western Balkans.

KANNIYAKUMARI, TAMIL NADU – This investigation unravels abuse and exploitation of lower-income migrant fishers from climate-affected coastal communities of India on UK-flagged fishing vessels under the country’s infamous transit visa system.

KABWE – More than four decades after the news broke about the illness caused by lead poisoning in Kabwe, Zambia, journalists dig deep to learn how victims' lives have changed since the World Bank provided $65 million in assistance to the Zambian government.

CAIRO / TUNIS / ALGIERS - This investigation shows how – as countries in MENA are seeking to boost gas production to meet European gas demand – they are allowing fracking to take place in fields in order to maximise production. Fracking often takes place near villages and farmland, and threatens the water supply and environmental integrity of the fragile desert regions. 

PAKS / LINZ –  This investigation looked at the impacts of specific large industrial facilities along the Danube in Hungary, Austria and Germany, as well as legal regulation.

BELGRADE / SKOPJE / SARAJEVO - Although Western Balkan countries keep reiterating their commitment to the green agenda and transition on their path to the EU membership, they still lag behind their EU neighbours in preserving our main resources like water, air and soil.

EUROPE – Asbestos is now banned in 69 countries, but it is still found in our drinking water. Water pipes are made of asbestos cement release fibres that can be lethal when inhaled. Experts have warned about this problem for decades, but the issue persists. 

TUSCANY / ISLAMABAD - Most associate the Italian wine country — such as Tuscany, the Langhe and the Prosecco hills — with scenic vineyards where some of the world's most-renowned wine is made but, for many living and working under the Italian sun, the reality is far from idyllic.

SKOPJE / THESSALONIKI -  Investigative teams from IRL in North Macedonia and Inside Story in Greece secured and analyzed thousand of pages of documents, interviewed tens of stakeholders and authorities and surveyed the Axios/Vardar basin and its facilities in order to identify the environmental pressures on the river and expose the reasons behind them.  

BERLIN / BRAZZAVILLE / LA PAZ -  The German Federal Development Ministry's Legacy Landscapes Fund appears to be linked to human rights abuses and toleration of environmental destruction. Conservation areas across Africa, Asia, and South America are allegedly subjected to community maltreatment and environmental misconduct.

LONDON – With Europe reeling from heat waves and wildfires, the EU is backing projects to capture industrial emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a key pillar in its fight against climate change. But what if these multi-billion-euro schemes make the problem worse?

In 2022, Brazil has exported for nearly 5 billion dollars of gold worldwide. The intermediary sellers operate in a near total secrecy. What are the routes gold from Pará state travels the world?

TUNIS - Since the 2011 Revolution for Dignity and Freedom, the European Union and individual member states have funded the Tunisian security apparatus with more than 500 millions euros.

KATHMANDU / ODEMIRA / BERLIN – This investigation revealed a system of informal agencies and debt bondage that thousands of Nepali migrant workers face when working in Portuguese berry fields.

BRUSSELS / PARIS – Many Europeans would not know wild African meat is eaten in cities around Europe, tonnes and tonnes of it being smuggled for the demand of some African communities. What does it mean — for preservation of endangered species, but also for preservation of cultural identity, and how can regulation be improved for everyone's benefit? 

NOVA KAKHOVKA – In June 2023 the Russian military targeted Ukraine's Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, triggering an ecocide that strained the ecological resilience of the region. The polluted water added to the Black Sea's ongoing environmental degradation because of negligence and weak policies in the region.

VLADIVOSTOK / BUSAN – After Russia attacked Ukraine, the West acted swiftly. Within months, the Western alliance imposed hard-hitting sanctions against the Eastern giant. However, these sanctions did not affect most Russian fishing industries, which kept exporting 1.1 billion USD of seafood into Europe

HONG KONG/WARSAW - Filipino workers are increasingly being lured by word of mouth and social media accounts promoting jobs in Poland. 

JAKARTA / AMSTERDAM - It sounded so appealing to become an Au Pair in Europe on paper. Unsurprisingly a website like AuPairWorld.com, which matches au pairs and host families, displays hundreds of profiles of young women advertising their baby-sitting skills.  

LISBOA - The non-voter time bomb is a data-driven journalism feature that profiles voter abstention across the European Union (EU) over the last 50 years and analyses it according to different demographic and socioeconomic indicators for each of the 27 member states.

MILAN/SOFIA/ARAD – Tens of thousands of tonnes of textile waste arrive in Romania and Bulgaria every year, mainly from Italy and Germany. Despite the fact the EU had acknowledged the extent of the textile waste smuggling across the continent, no strategy so far proved to be efficient in preventing it.

ROME / DHAKA - Of the many cases chronicling the exploitation of South Asian migrant workers in Italy, none is perhaps more visible yet underreported than the plight of rose sellers – a common sight in busy tourist destinations like Rome, Milan or Turin.

EDINBURGH - Europe’s marine environment faces a plethora of severe threats. What are the key species in decline, and which interest groups are lobbying against marine protection laws? This investigation looks into Europe’s interconnected marine systems, and how they can be preserved.

EL CERREJÓN — The largest open pit coal mine in the world lies in Colombia. Health damage caused both to its workers and the communities – silicosis disease among them – is peremptory and alarming.

BRUSSELS / ACCRA – The EU wanted to prevent further deforestation around the world with a new regulation on supply chains in the timber trade. But in Ghana it has the opposite effect.

GEORGETOWN - This investigation offers a deep dive into the financial tricks ExxonMobil employs to turn Guyana into its perfect oil province.

NAIVASHA - Many of the beautiful bouquets sold across European markets have a devastating environmental and human cost. In Kenya, a supplier of 40% of the European cut flower market, the floriculture industry faces accusations of having a calamitous effect on water sources, of chemical use leading to disease, and of widespread abuses of farm workers, 70% of whom are women. 

EU — It is now four years since the EU's Clean Energy for All Europeans package had been adopted. How much progress has been made since then on the national levels? This project looks at Croatia, Germany, Poland, Greece, and Bulgaria.

SKOPJE /TIRANA /PRISTINA – The levels of pollution in the capitals of the republics in the Western Balkans are extremely high. The investigation looks at the causes of this situation as well as the health problems that air pollution leads to.

COPENHAGEN - Denmark dropped bombs in four key incidents in which civilians were reportedly killed or injured in the 2011 war that led to the overthrow of dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, this investigation by Altinget and Airwars can reveal in partnership with the Guardian. 

BRUSSELS - Paradoxical plastics: Why are bioplastics not necessarily as good as a solution to plastic waste as the had been proclaimed?

PARAMARIBO - The dream of gold is driving tens of thousands of Brazilians into the rainforest on the EU border between Suriname and French Guiana. They leave behind contaminated rivers and shattered illusions. Almost no one wins.

ACCRA – Low-quality petrol and diesel are a major problem for air quality in West Africa. They contain toxic substances such as sulfur and the carcinogenic benzene. When they break down, cars emit even more toxic exhaust fumes over densely populated cities.

CHACO – A cross-border investigation conducted by Voxeurop and Periodistas por el Planeta reveals that livestock farms in Italy and Spain, two major meat exporters across Europe, as well as iconic food brands are indirectly linked to deforestation in the Chaco province in Argentina.

BERLIN/NAIROBI - Why and how dangerous pesticide products produced in the EU — and Germany in particular — are continued to be sold in other countries? The investigation looks at how agrochemical companies try to maintain an unregulated pesticide market, despite tightening regulations in Europe. 

PARIS - The "Perenco System" international investigation coordinated by the Environmental Investigative Forum (EIF) in partnership with Mediapart, InfoCongo, InfoAmazonia and Convoca documents the systemic ecological impact of Perenco worldwide.

# Financial support
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Grants 

European Cross-border Grants

With the award-winning European Cross-Border Grant programme, Journalismfund Europe supports (since 2009) professional journalists and independent media outlets who have good ideas for cross-border investigations and for research on European topics.

The next application deadline is Thursday 27 June 2024 at 1 pm CET

Environmental Investigative Journalism

This grant programme supports cross-border teams of professional journalists and/or news outlets to conduct investigations into environmental affairs related to Europe (all the countries, not only EU members).

The next application deadline is Thursday 10 Octoberd 2024 at 1 pm CET.

Pascal Decroos Fund

The Pascal Decroos Fund is Journalismfund Europe's oldest grant programme. Since 1999 it strives to advance investigative journalism in Dutch-language media in Belgium.

The next application deadline is Thursday 22 August 2024 at 1 pm CET.

News

Scholarships for grantees

To enable investigative journalists to share their experience and knowledge with colleagues at conferences, trainings, webinars and other available journalistic events, Journalismfund Europe provides scholarships for its grantees.

Wine Industry in Italy Abuses Migrants from Sub-Sharan Africa, South Asia

Impact: Stricter Belgian Fuel Export Standards Being Enforced After Investigation

2024-05-23

BRUSSELS – Following the cross-border investigation by Apache, De Groene Amsterdammer (Research Collective Spit) and The Continent which was published in January this year, stricter export standards for fuel export are due to be enforced in Belgium.

Climate Disinformation Database Launch in Europe

2024-05-22

PARIS – The European Fact-Checking Standards Network, in association with participating member organisations, has launched the Climate Facts Europe database, supported by the European Climate Foundation.

John Bones

The warm Norwegian everyone melted for, has passed away

2024-05-14

TRONDHEIM / BRUSSELS - Today is a sad day. Mr. Bones, John Bones (1954-2024), the CEO of Norway's SKUP (one of Europe's oldest Foundation for a Critical and Investigative Press), is no more.

Agenda

30May
2Jun
Conference

Dataharvest – The European Investigative Journalism Conference is a meeting point where networks are established and nurtured, data and documents shared, cross-border projects conceived and teams established. The conference days are all about learning, inspiration and getting some work done.

Mechelen (Belgium)
6Jun
Webinar

This is the first in a series of two online sessions for journalists who want to incorporate satellite imagery and geospatial data to expand and strengthen their environmental reporting. It caters to beginners who need an introduction to the world of remote sensing and learn basic steps in accessing online satellite imagery and using QGIS, an open-source geographic information system (GIS) software, to perform simple geospatial analysis for environmental reporting purposes.

Online
10Jun
Webinar

Are you a European journalist looking to explore local issues with potential cross-border impact? Join us for an insightful workshop hosted by Journalismfund Europe and Transitions, where you'll learn practical strategies for successful cross-border journalism collaborations and grant applications.

Czechia & Brussels (online)