The Multimedia Actions aim to engage citizens in EU policy-making process by providing them with information about European issues, beyond 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:
Euronews is an independent news TV channel producing information in 12 languages. This includes 8 official EU languages - English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Public-service broadcasters launched the channel in 1993.
Over the years, the Commission and Euronews have signed multiple successive Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) to set the overall frame for the cooperation. The current FPA was signed in February 2017 with a duration of four years. The partnership is implemented through specific, annual grant agreements for the production and distribution of EU programmes and individual language versions.
The breakdown of the EU's financial support, as foreseen in the 2020 Financing Decision on Multimedia Actions, is as follows:
- Production and broadcast of programmes on EU affairs: EUR 8.65 million;
- Production and broadcast of the Arabic service: EUR 2.5 million;
- Production and broadcast of the Greek, Hungarian and Portuguese services: EUR 6.85 million.
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 assessment of the performance of the different actions funded under the scheme.
Radio network Euranet Plus
The Commission supports the coverage of EU affairs in radio programmes across Europe. A specific grant agreement was signed with Euranet Plus in August 2019 for a duration of 28 months, with a value of EUR 2.16 million per year. It aims to strengthen reporting on EU affairs and reach at least 2 million listeners per week. Under this agreement, each of the radios that are part of the Euranet Plus network has to produce and broadcast at least 25 minutes per week.
They produce radio reports, talk shows and interviews to address and explain EU affairs to their listeners, and to compare viewpoints across Europe.
Euranet Plus currently gathers 13 radios from 13 Member States. By December 2021, at least 25 other radios should be included as re-broadcaster. The network has a central office in Brussels to help radio stations in their journalistic work and to exchange best practices.
External evaluations have been conducted in 2012 and 2016, to assess the performance of previous agreements with Euranet (Plus).
Data-driven news production
Following open Calls for Proposals in 2016 and in 2018, the Commission is currenly supporting three media consortia covering EU affairs through data-driven techniques. All consortia operate with full editorial independence.
European Data News Hub
The European Data News Hub brings together Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Agence France-Presse (AFP), Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) and AGERPRES for the creation and distribution of infographics, videos, text stories and other content around EU topics in 7 languages. Content is made available to any interested media through their wires, through a free online hub and on social media.
European Data Journalism Network
More than 27 media outlets from 14 countries work together in the European Data Journalism Network.
The network produces in-depth articles, explanatory stories, infographics, videos and short reviews in up to 18 languages. It is open to additional partners, and offers webinars and a helpdesk for interested journalists.
SONAR Europe is a joint project of Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), Le Soir (Belgium), Le Figaro (France) and El País (Spain), all of which are part of the Leading European Newspapers Alliance (LENA).The project aims to show multiple perspectives and points of view from different European countries in the form of in-depth, investigative, multimedia stories around EU topics as well as shorter articles and infographics. It will also offer educational resources on data, tools to create and share data journalism, and workshops for media professionals.
The projects will run until 2021. The total amount of EU co-financing is nearly 1.9 million EUR (700.000 EUR for EDNH, 693.379 EUR for EDJnet, and 506.528 EUR for SONAR).
Find more information on these projects.