The “Multimedia Actions” correspond to a yearly budget that the EU distributes to media, so they provide citizens with independent information about European topics. This is necessary as decisions at EU level have an impact on people’s life yet are complex and often underreported by media. The Multimedia Actions thus help ensure media act as a watchdog of European democracy. To guarantee that the selected media can effectively keep politicians or business accountable, the EU has no say in what these media publish: their independence is contractually guaranteed.
Currently, the following types of actions receive support:
- The TV channel Euronews
- The coverage of EU affairs through a radio network
- The production and dissemination of data-driven news on EU affairs
- The production of news on EU affairs and its dissemination by media hubs
The 2023 Financing Decision on Multimedia Actions allocates €20,6 million to support this years’ actions.
The TV channel Euronews
Euronews is an independent news TV channel producing information since 1993. Its offer includes content in 12 languages, out of which 8 official EU languages: English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Euronews is available in around 400 million households globally on TV and is consumed by 6,8 million citizens daily (IPSOS). It registers a monthly average of 28.4 million unique visitors across its digital platforms.
Over the years, the European Commission and Euronews have signed successive Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs). The last FPA was signed in July 2021 with a duration of three years. Partnerships are implemented through specific, annual grant agreements, which are monitored through external audits and evaluations.
The European Commission currently funds the production and broadcast of European programmes, a network of correspondents and several language services (Hungarian, Greek, Portuguese and Arabic). The EU also supports production and broadcast of the Farsi service and thematic TV magazines through other budget lines.
Coverage of EU affairs through a radio network
According to successive Eurobarometers, radio remains the most trusted media in Europe and an important source of content. At the same time, most radio stations operate in one language, making it a challenge to cover cross-border perspectives. As foreseen in the 2022 Financing Decision, the Commission published a call for proposals to support radio content on EU affairs. Following that call, a two-year grant agreement worth EUR 4.4 million was signed with the radio network Euranet Plus, covering 2023 and 2024.
Under this agreement, each of the radio stations that are part of the Euranet Plus network has to produce and broadcast at least 10 minutes per week. Members produce reports, talk shows and interviews that explain EU affairs to their listeners through multiple viewpoints. Euranet Plus currently gathers 15 radio stations from 15 Member States. These members reach approximately 11 million daily listeners, out of which Euranet Plus expects to reach at least 1.7 million listeners each week. The network has a central office in Brussels to help radio stations in their journalistic work, to exchange best practices and to produce multilingual podcasts.
Data-driven news on EU affairs
In a time of ever faster news consumption and increasing media convergence, new forms of production (such as data journalism) are gaining ground across different channels. The Commission is supporting the production and distribution of data-driven news on EU affairs across borders.
As foreseen in the 2022 Financing Decision, a call for proposals was published in 2022 to support two media consortia. The winning projects, European Data News Hub and European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet), will run until spring 2025. The total amount of EU co-financing is EUR 700.000 per project over two years. More information about the projects.
Production and dissemination of news by media hubs
Since 2020, the Commission is inviting applicants to come with new ideas to increase the curation, production and circulation of professional news content and non-fictional programming through European open and digital media platforms and production hubs.
In 2021, following an open call for proposals, support worth EUR 1.76 million was granted to a consortium of 16 news agencies, coordinated by the German Press Agency. The partners established the 'European Newsroom', a space for correspondents to work and train together in Brussels with a view to producing and disseminating news on EU affairs. The EU co-financing is covering two years (2022-2023).
In 2023, the Commission is launching a new EUR 8 million call for proposals, “European Media Hubs”, that will follow on this action.