The multimedia actions engage citizens in EU policy-making process by providing them information about European issues. This information goes beyond the usual local and national angles, thus reinforcing Europe's democratic pillars. Media financed under this heading retain full editorial independence. It is sanctioned by an editorial charter of independence included in all contracts and grants.
Three actions are funding under this line
- the pan-European tv channel Euronews
- the production of radio news and programmes through a network of radios
- data-driven news production
Euronews is an independent, pan-European news TV channel broadcasting non-stop in 13 languages. This includes 8 official EU languages - English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Public-service broadcasters launched the channel in 1993. The current FPA was signed in December 2015 with a duration of one year.
The Commission and Euronews sign specific agreements every year for the production and distribution of EU programmes for individual language versions. The breakdown of the EU's financial support, in commitment appropriations (2016), is as follows:
- Production and broadcast of programmes on EU affairs: 8,6 million EUR.
- Production and broadcast of the Arabic service: 2.8 million EUR
- Production and broadcast of European languages: 6.6 million EUR
The EU also funds production and broadcast of the Farsi service and many magazines through other budget lines.
External ex-ante audits and evaluations are regularly conducted to assess the cost structures of the contracts. They provide a qualitative assessments of the performance of the different actions funded under the scheme.
Production of radio news and programmes by a radio network
The Commission finances the production of radio news and programmes across Europe. The project was awarded in 2012 to Euranet Plus. This network gathers 15 radios from 15 Member states around production, exchange and broadcast of regular programmes on the EU.
As part of the contractual obligations, Euranet Plus must meet several conditions:
- its programmes must report on EU affairs from multiple angles,
- the European perspective shall be free from any exclusively national point of view.
- topics must relate to EU affairs, but the editorial choice is the entire responsibility of the network. The editorial charter of the European Union guarantees independence.
The Euranet Plus News Agency network has a press bureau based in Brussels. This network co-produces and coordinates daily broadcasting among its partners. Euranet plus also organises monthly debates at the European Parliament. Contents are accessible on the central website.
The network encourages exchange and cooperation among its members. It broadcasts news on all EU policies and organises monthly debates at the European Parliament, made available to the members and associated members.
The members of the network must broadcast their programmes on all their available platforms, including their own website and in their online/offline service. Under the contract, each member must produce and broadcast a minimum of 75 minutes per week in its main language at peak listening times.
The annual budget devoted to this action amounts to 6.1 million EUR.
Data-driven news production
A new call for proposal to increase reporting on EU Affairs using data-driven media was published in 2016.
The action aims to exploit the advantages of new technologies and converging media to the benefit of both media companies and digital audiences. The winning project will make the most of big data, new narratives and story-telling. They will also use and compare multiple, multilingual sources and tools for sentiment analysis and data monitoring.
The Call for Proposals foresees a budget of 1,95 million EUR. The Commission will fund up to three proposals on data-driven news production around EU affairs and results will be available early 2017.