A Podcast is a pre-recorded audio file that has been posted on a website for people to download and listen to on personal computers or mobile devices. You can obtain the podcast of the European Commission's daily midday briefing from the iTunes platform.
How can I find out about the latest published audio files?
You can find and download all of the audio files produced in the last seven days on the EbS and EbS+ online schedules. Alternatively you can consult the Audio News page of our website. ), which lists audio files by month, starting with the most recent entries.
You can also subscribe to our RSS feed to receive the latest updates when you access your RSS reader.
Where can I find transcripts of Commission press conferences and midday briefings?
We do not provide transcripts for our MP3 audio files, however, in many cases a press release and/or the Commissioner's speech is published on the internet, along with a background note regarding the items discussed during the midday briefing (Midday Express). All of these documents, as well as other major press releases from the EU institutions, can be found on the RAPID database.
Unfortunately we cannot always offer the possibility of downloading some of our older archive files due to issues relating to copyright. You should contact the Audiovisual Library for more information on this subject.
Are there any other online institutional sources for audio files?
The European Parliament also offers audio files related to the plenary sessions, as well as the different committees' work. Please refer to the associated links to find other available information sources.
What can I find in the Audio section of the Audiovisual Unit's website?
• News: events sorted by month, starting with the most recent. Click on the arrows to the left and the right of the Audio Files banner to change the month.
• Thematic: presentation of our audio material by EC policy areas.
• Archives: historical material dating back to the 1950s as well as all audio files produced since 22 September 2003.
• Search: a simple and advanced search engine for all our audio products.
• the simple search - enter one or more search criteria separated by a space. The result will show audio files containing one or all of the specified search criteria. For example, "Barroso Juncker" will find all the joint press conferences by the two mentioned personalities.
• the advanced search - you can search on a range of dates, a specific policy area or one or more search criteria following the same principles explained in the simple search.
The files are in digital MP3 format and contain the audio track of events such as press conferences by Members of the Commission, statements by European leaders or other significant events transmitted on Europe by Satellite (EbS). Each file contains two audio channels: original sound and interpretation in English. When the original sound is in English, there is only one language channel. The metadata of these files are only available in English.
The Audiovisual Services portal also offers podcasts of the daily midday briefing, which can be obtained from a variety of different syndicated download platforms.
You can find news and archive audio files either on the EbS and EbS+ or on the pages in the Audio section.
After logging onto our website or, if you are a new user, registering for the first time, click on the blue "MP3" icon beside the file, followed by the red "mp3" icon. Beneath this icon you will find details of the size of the file and this should give you an indication of approximately how long the download will take.
The MP3 will be copied to your chosen location on your hard drive.
You can listen to a downloaded audio file using a variety of multimedia software (Windows Media Player, Real Audio, Quick Time, etc).
To choose your preferred language, click on control panel from the start menu and select Sounds and Audio Devices. Click on the Advanced button in the Volume tab and move the balance slider in the Wave section to the left (original track) or to the right (English interpretation) to obtain the desired language track. The two channels will be identical if the original language track is in English.
Where can I find stock photos to illustrate news articles?
Our thematic pages
contain a large number of categories of pictures intended for use in news articles and magazines. Several of these photos are also available in super high definition formats (EPS and TIFF) and can be used to produce posters and banners. Other images that are not featured on this thematic page can be found by using the
advanced search engine
in the photo section.
Are there any other online institutional sources for photos?
Most websites of the other European institutions, and a few Directorates General of the European Commission, offer an online photo service. Please refer to the associated links to find other available information sources.
What can I find in the Photo section of the Audiovisual Unit's website?
The Photo section is split into 4 chapters:
• News: events of the week
• Thematic: presentation of our photo material by European Commission policy areas. With one click our photo files are sorted into chronological order, starting with the most recent.
• Archives: historical material dating back to the 1950s
• Research: a simple and advanced search engine for all our photo products
After registering, simply click on the thumbnail of your chosen picture to be directed to the download page and then on the red "jpg" button. Beneath this icon you will find details of the size of the file and this should give you an indication of approximately how long the download will take.
The website offers two different search engines:
• the simple research: enter one or more search criteria separated by a space. The result will show photos containing one or all of the specified search criteria.
For example 'Barroso Blair' will find all the photos showing the 2 mentioned personalities.
• the advanced
search: offers the following search criteria:
• a range of dates
• 4 kinds of search by criteria in free text:
º all the specified words
º an exact phrase
º with at least one of the specified words
º without the specified words
º a thesaurus: a filing system which allows you to find photos filed under either a general or a very specific term. When you click on the Thesaurus field, you will receive a list of policy areas which will allow you to navigate through the different levels of the thesaurus to refine your search. You can specify one or more areas, the "and" Boolean operator will be inserted between your different search criteria. Try not to include too many search criteria as this will slow down the response time.
º a dictionary of personalities: a true glossary which allows you to find the correct spelling of a person's name. To receive the list of names, type at least 3 letters found anywhere in the person's name. You can specify one or more personalities at the same time; the 'and' Boolean operator will be inserted between your different search criteria.
The database contains news photos (press conferences, visits to the Commission, etc), historical archive photos dating back to the 1950s and thematic photos to illustrate particular European Community policy areas or initiatives.
Photos are available in JPEG format of 300 dots per inch, following press agency standards for the written press. Selected photos, normally in the thematic series photo section, are presented in the very high definition formats of EPS or TIFF.
How can I find out whether the Commission will cover a news photo?
Every Friday afternoon we publish the planned photo coverage
for the following week to inform our users of the events the European Commission plans to cover. This list is subject to changes during the course of the working week and should be checked regularly. New additions and cancellations are highlighted in green and red respectively. Once the picture is published, it will appear on the News Photo
You can also subscribe to our RSS
feeds to receive the latest photo updates when you access your RSS reader.
Is there a gallery of key personalities on the website?
Yes, there is a "Who's who?" section on the photo homepage
comprising photo galleries of the members of the Commission, the Spokesman’s Service, the European Commission’s Directors General as well as key figures in the European Union.
In which languages are videos made available on the Audiovisual Services website?
Our video stockshots are produced with original sound only (no interpretation, translation, subtitles or music). VNRs and documentaries may be offered in more than one Community language and this information can be found on the download page. On the Docu/VNR page you can also search by language version using the "language" drop down menu.
Why am I having problems obtaining the Live and VOD streaming?
You may experience difficulties receiving EbS and EbS+ live and video on demand (VOD) streaming if you are using a firewall facility. The firewall has to be modified to allow the streaming signal to get through. Any recent changes to security software can also prevent the video streaming from appearing.
You should also make sure you have the minimum required version of the relevant software as well as any additional codecs. For more information, please see our
Formats and Software Used page.
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is a web format used to publish frequently updated works, such as audio, photo and video files, in a standardized format. It allows users to identify content from various websites simultaneously and view all the selected information via a single interface instead of browsing from one website to another. The web feed includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship.
What formats are available on EbS and EbS+ transmissions?
From 1 January 2009 most edited EbS news items will be available in both 16:9 and 4:3, whilst live events will be transmitted in one format only. All EU institutions will move to 16:9 as soon as possible. Please refer to the EbS and EbS+ schedules where the format will be clearly indicated.
The website offers you the possibility of searching in two different ways:
• Video: to search for the relevant word or phrase in the title and brief summary of the available videos in the database
• Shot list: to search for the relevant word or phrase in each shot of the available videos in the database
Each of these fields has two different search engines:
• the simple research: enter one or more search criteria separated by a space. The result will show videos or shots containing one or all of the specified search criteria.
For example 'Barroso Blair' will find all the videos or shots showing the 2 mentioned personalities.
• the advanced
search: offers the following search criteria:
• a range of dates
• 4 kinds of search by criteria in free text:
º all the specified words
º an exact phrase
º with at least one of the specified words
º without the specified words
º a thesaurus: a filing system which allows you to find videos classed under either a general or a very specific term. When you click on the thesaurus field, you will receive a list of policy areas which will allow you to navigate through them to refine your search. You can specify one or more areas, the "and" Boolean operator will be inserted between your different search criteria. Try not to include too many search criteria as this will slow down the response time.
º a dictionary of personalities: a glossary which allows you to find the correct spelling of a person's name. To receive the list of names, type at least three letters found anywhere in the person's name. You can search for one or more personalities at the same time, the "and" Boolean operator will be inserted between your different search criteria.
How does the 'live' and 'video on demand' web streaming work?
To access on air transmission on both EbS and EbS+, click on the "PLAY" button in the EbS banner at the top of the screen. When available, you can select an interpretation in your chosen language from the options provided.
To obtain video on demand items transmitted on EbS, click on the red circle icon beside the first line of the description of the required item. The video sequence should be available thirty minutes after the start of the original transmission, however, if this is not the case you will be redirected to the live streaming. With the on demand streaming you can also select your choice of working language, when available, as well as fast-forward throughout the clip.
Unfortunately only live streaming is currently available through the EbS+ online schedule. However, all news items transmitted on EbS+ are made available in downloadable formats.
Europe by Satellite, abbreviated to EbS, was launched in 1995 and is the European Union's television information service, aimed at information media professionals.
On 1 January 2008 the EU institutions launched an additional channel to EbS. Like its sister channel, EbS+, will transmit EU-related raw material without editorial comment, through live coverage and edited news extracts.
The EbS and EbS+ transmission schedules are only available in English, show up to 17 days of past and future transmissions and can be printed off to show either the daily or weekly program schedule.
There are 3 different ways of viewing the schedule:
Both: this allows you to see the EbS and EbS+ schedule side by side EbS: this allows you to see only the EbS transmissions EbS+: this allows you to see only the EbS+ transmissions
To change from one view to the other, simply click on the relevant tab at the top of the screen.
Each programme is announced as clearly as possible. Other sources of information associated with the event can also be found alongside the programme title. These include press releases, photos, links to internal or external websites, audio files and video files.
If you wish to view something that has already been transmitted on EbS and EbS+, the date box in the EbS banner, which is set by default to today, allows you to navigate through the days until you find the date you are looking for.
You can also filter the items shown on both channels by using the "Institutions" option on the banner beside the date box. This allows you to show only subjects from the Commission, the Parliament, the Council or others.
Where can I find details of the Audiovisual Service's future video stockshots?
All our new productions are announced in advance and are accompanied by a shot list in French and English once the editing has been completed. Shortly afterwards the video files in high and low definition are made available for downloading from our website.
When are the following week's programmes announced on the schedule?
After the weekly inter-institutional editorial meeting, which takes place every Friday morning, a schedule of transmissions is prepared and published on the EbS and EbS + website during the afternoon.
The EbS schedules are subject to modifications during the week depending on the news of the day. New additions and cancellations are highlighted with text and colours so that they stand out from the other items.
EbS is transmitted on the SIRIUS 4 digital satellite, using a Free to Air signal, which means that any digital satellite receiver can receive it, provided that the dish is directed towards the correct satellite. A satellite receiver that has been tuned to receive EbS will be automatically set to receive EbS+.
Depending on the make and model of satellite receiver, EbS+ will either be listed in the programme menu or will be available as a service to be selected manually. If, for some reason, EbS+ is not listed, then a simple re-scan of the transponder will correct the situation. Each service carries the same range of language channels and these are selected via the menu.
The EbS and EbS+ signals are also available via live or on demand web streaming from the website.
What kind of videos do the Audiovisual Services provide?
Our videos, also called video stockshots or infoclips
contain natural sound, no commentary, translations or subtitles and are intended for use by journalists to illustrate news items or make documentaries on themes relating to EU policy. Several DGs have contracts with production companies to make video news releases (VNRs
) or documentaries on specific European Commission subjects. VNRs and stockshots can be edited, however, documentaries must be used and shown in their completed versions.
Do I need any specialist equipment to watch the web streaming?
All you need to access the web streaming is a recent version of the free to download Real Player (www.Real.com) and Flash (http://www.adobe.com) multimedia readers to be able to receive video streaming on your personal computer.
EbS is equipped to transmit its programmes in up to 32 languages – the original sound and interpretation in 22 official languages of the Union, when offered at the source. The transmission schedule announces the available languages for each programme in advance. Major events, such as the plenary sessions of the European Parliament and press conferences at the Commission are transmitted in all 22 languages on EbS and EbS+. Other languages, for instance Russian or Arabic, may also be transmitted when available at the source.
For more information, please see the section relating to languages on EbS.
The formats chosen for our online video service are:
* MPEG4 H264 at 5 megabits per second for high resolution
* MPEG4 H264 512 Kilobits per second for EBS streaming
For more information, please see our Formats and Software Used page.
After registering, click on the relevant definition icon of your chosen video:
MPEG4 H264 HD: to download the high resolution, broadcast quality files (MPEG 2)
MPEG4 H264 LR: to download the low resolution, VHS quality files (Real Video)
PREVIEW: to watch the low definition without downloading the video
To download the file, click on the red "mpeg" or "rm" icon. Beneath this icon you will find details of the size of the file and this should give you an indication of approximately how long the download will take. The video file will be copied to your chosen location on your hard drive.
A certain amount of written information relating to the video can also be found on the website, which you will find by pressing the following icons:
ANNOUNCE: read the production context for the video
SHOTLIST: read the shot by shot description of the video
LINK: see the link or links relating to the video
What can I find in the Video section of the Audiovisual Services' website?
The Video section is split into 4 chapters:
• News: events of the week, with the EbS and EbS+ schedules
• Thematic: presentation of our video material by European Commission policy areas. With one click our video files are sorted into chronological order, starting with the most recent.
• Archives: availability of our historical material dating back to the 1950s, through the web streaming of the highlights from our archives
• Search: a simple and advanced search engine for all our video products
Most of the free multimedia software freely available on the internet can be used to watch our online videos (Windows Media Player, Real Player, Quick Time). High definition formats can be immediately used in digital image servers. In some instances you may need additional codecs to view our videos; these can be downloaded directly from the Internet.
For the regular use of our services, we expect our users:
* to record the EbS and EbS+ signals which transmit new productions more than once and which also offer a retransmission service on request for items featured earlier in the day
* to download EbS and EbS+ news items from the online schedules on the day and during the seven days following the initial transmission.
* to download the files from our online service
* only in cases when none of these options are available, can you request a copy of the production to be sent to you on video tape or another multimedia format.
Do the Audiovisual Services work with any other agencies?
Our partnership with the EBU includes providing live coverage of main institutional events as well as summaries of important news stories for its Eurovision network (Eurovision News Exchanges, EVN and EUN) which links together 118 television stations in 79 different countries worldwide.
We work in partnership with Euronews, the only permanent European multilingual information channel offering systematic and daily news coverage of events at the various European institutions and video reports on important European decisions.
How can the Commission help me to cover EU related news stories?
The European Commission's Audiovisual Services facilitate filming at the Commission by providing useful contacts and by accompanying news teams within our buildings. Details of visits by personalities, or other events at the Commission, are faxed or emailed to the accredited audiovisual press in advance of the event. Such information is also available in the Press Room. When press pools are jointly organised by DG Communication and the International Press Association, video and photographic copies are made available to journalists who were not able to attend the event.
The European institutions realised that keeping their citizens informed about European events was of key importance and providing help for the media naturally followed on from this. Initially the information provided was aimed at the written press and then progressively for the audiovisual sector. The first photo reports were available in 1948, followed by video in 1953 and audio in 1958.
In the 1980s, European events were covered by the media at all levels and the institutions took on the role of a specialised agency for all European coverage, providing information for journalists working in video and photography through the European Broadcasting Union's (EBU) Eurovision news exchanges.
In the 1990s live transmission of Commission events were introduced. "Europe by Satellite" (EbS) was set up in September 1995, firstly in analogue and then in digital from 1999.
Since 1997, up to the minute news coverage has been sent on a daily basis to Eurovision. In the same year the first multimedia pages were introduced to the Europa website, firstly for EbS and then in 1999 for both photo and video. Today visitors to the website can access complete, up-to-date European photo and video media coverage at the click of a mouse.
Can I use equipment from the European Commission to cover EU-related news stories?
Yes. The Audiovisual Planning Department manages bookings for the use of Commission equipment. Requests for technical assistance will be met on a "first come, first served" basis and preference will be given to:
• Coverage of Community current affairs
• Items involving members of the EC
• Productions covering priority themes on the Commission's Work programme
• Radio and TV stations from a Member State or a candidate country
• Audience and geographical diversity may also be taken into consideration when deciding on the allocation of facilities
The use of crews and editing facilities is restricted to a maximum of 2½ hours (filming, editing and transmission) for each user.
What kind of equipment and services from the European Commission can I use to cover my news stories?
The Audiovisual Services offer various kinds of assistance and technical facilities to TV and radio journalists:
• Two fully equipped and manned TV studios and one radio studio
• Editing and duplication facilities
• Video crews (cameraman and sound engineer) and filming facilities
• Access to archive footage
• Access to play out services.
How can I make a booking request to use the EC’s audioivisual facilities?
To make a reservation request, first log into our website using your user id and password and then go to the My Bookings section of the My AV Services menu. It may take a few minutes for this page to load. If you have already made previous requests for the use of the Audiovisual Services’ facilities, you can use these requests as a basis to create a new one. If not, you should access the booking form through the “click here” link.
You will be redirected towards an online booking form; all the fields in dark blue are mandatory. You can specify the kind of service you require through the “Type of Request” section half way down the form. Reservation requests should be sent to the European Commission's Audiovisual Planning Department, accompanied by a copy of the circuit reservation request.
How can I register with the Audiovisual services website?
The procedure is simple and allows you to access the online audiovisual services website, as well as the Rapid database.
If you already have a Rapid password or internet access provided by the European Commission (ie if you are a Commission official), this computer login plus (internet) password will also allow you to log into the Audiovisual Services website.
If not, proceed as follows:
1. Click on "Not yet registered?", which can be found in the blue box in the top right hand corner of any page of the Audiovisual Portal or on the "Register" link found on the right hand side of the screen beneath the grey banner.
2. You will be directed to a form where you must complete the following information: account name (this is your email address and may contain a maximum of 50 characters), your preferred password, your name and address, company and job title, country and mobile phone number.
3. Once you have clicked on the "Create" button, your user name and password will be confirmed by email sent to the specified address
Please keep your user name and password in a safe place, as it will be needed for future visits to our website.
Should you experience any problems, or if you forget your password, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can anyone cover news stories at the European Commission?
No. Only journalists accredited to the European institutions are allowed to cover news stories on Commission premises. In special circumstances, temporary badges can be issued to journalists covering specific news or events.
Why do I have to register to use the audiovisual portal?Why do you have to register with the Audiovisual portal?
Any search through the files published on the portal is free and accessible to all.
Downloading those same files requires a personalised registration on the site.
This registration is open to everyone.
What are the European Commission’s Audiovisual Services?
The European Commission's Audiovisual Services provide audiovisual coverage of European news as well as help for audiovisual journalists to facilitate their coverage of EU subjects. It offers rapid transmission of photo reports via the internet, usually within one hour of the event taking place, and on video via Europe by Satellite in the most appropriate time slot.
The Audiovisual Library contains all our latest products in modern, professional format standards and an extensive variety of European audiovisual archive material dating back to the 1950s.