Friday, October 24, 2014

Accreditation to the European Commission entitles journalists, film crews and photographers to an entry card which is also recognised by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.

The types of accreditation are:

  • Permanent accreditation
  • Special accreditation
  • Provisions for visiting journalists

Permanent accreditation

Status of Press organisation. In order to be recognised as a press organisation, a media body must have a statute - or form part of a group with a statute - stating that information linked to the activities of the European institutions is one of its main information themes. It has to enjoy editorial independence; and be open about how and by whom it is financed. In the case of online information, it has to provide proof that the information is updated at least once a week and includes news about the Community.

An application form should be filled (one original and three photocopies of the entire application) and brought to the Accreditation Office of the European Commission in the Berlaymont building. (The form can be found here)

A recent (dated) letter is needed, which must be the original document, from the Editor or Director (Headquarters office) of the media organisation. By this the journalist certifies that the media organisation is of a commercial nature with unrestricted distribution. The frequency with which the publication appears must be stated. If necessary, a copy of the organisation's statutes may be requested. (The requirement for the media body to be of a commercial nature does not apply to audiovisual media with a public-service or related role.)

The same type of letter should also certify that journalism is the applicant's main source of income or that he/she operates as a freelance reporter and will cover mainly European affairs and thus need frequent access to the Institutions.

In case of staff journalists her/his status must be proven by a written declaration from the Editor or Director of the media organisation. An official press card, issued in the journalist's country of origin or the country in which his/her employer has its head office, may also be taken into account.

In case of freelance journalists, proof of publication and of payment for regular and sustained journalistic work are needed. A reference to the holder's profession in an official document or an official press card issued in the applicant's country of origin, as well as proof of journalistic assignments, may be taken into account as additional information.

Furthermore: proof that the journalist has her/his main or secondary residence in or near Brussels is needed (copy of identity card or copy of lease). And finally, for journalists from the European Union, an identity card or passport from a Member State of the European Union, or for journalists from outside the EU a passport issued by the country of origin. And don’t forget to bring a passport photo with you.

The same criteria apply for photographers. For the technical press a professional journalist’s card is not essential.

Applications for accreditation are examined by the Advisory Committee on Accreditation which is composed of representatives of the European Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and IPA, and meets on a regular basis. The Committee assesses each application individually, on the basis of the documents provided. It reserves the right to check the authenticity of the documents. In addition, it may request further documentation to establish that certain of the criteria mentioned above have been fulfilled. The Committee also reserves the right to check at any time if these conditions are still being met and to refuse or withdraw the accreditation.

PERSON TO CONTACT:

Pier Cirillo Soldati
Office: Berl -1 Press 06
Tel : +32.2.299 0170
Fax : +32.2.299 4770
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Special accreditation

Special accreditation is required for specific events, such as major events with increased security or European Councils. In such cases, permanent accreditation does not exempt the bearer from the need of a special accreditation.

Provisions for visiting journalists

Professional journalists without permanent accreditation may be granted access to the press rooms of:

  • the Commission, by contacting the press room team by fax +32 2 299 4770 or by e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a 24 hours advance notice if possible.
  • the Council, by contacting the Press Centre by fax +32 2 285 8541 or by e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a 24 hours advance notice if possible.
  • the European Parliament, by contacting the Press Centre by fax +32 2 284 9095 or by e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a 24 hours advance notice if possible.

Include a copy of the applicant's identity card, a copy of the national professional Press card or, for journalists from countries where this type of card does not exist, an equivalent document issued by the Director/Editor of the media organisation the journalist represents (head office) or the professional journalists' organisation in the country of origin.