Across Europe, the AEJ brings together individual journalists through their membership of national sections. It was founded in 1962 in the six countries then members of the European Economic Community, to promote democratic European integration and in the belief that journalism could promote European harmony. From the outset the AEJ has sought to free information and the freedom of the press in Europe.

Most AEJ activities are arranged by independent sections at national level. Section members in each section are drawn from a wide spectrum of the media staff and freelance contributors to television, radio, national, regional and specialists newspapers and periodicals and the new media. Membership in each section is open to all journalists including foreign media representatives based in the country.

One of the aims of the international association is to create links between individual journalists, exchanging contacts, information and ideas. The AEJ partners with the European Journalism Centre (EJC), an independent institution for further training of journalists.

We are registered under Belgian law as an independent non-profit-making international organisation without ties to political parties or labour unions.  We have NGO status with UNESCO and Observer status with the Media Steering Committee of the Council of Europe.  We are a member of the European Movement and work with the Representative on Freedom of the Media at the OSCE.