The multimedia actions were launched with the aim of engaging EU citizens in policy-making processes. The multimedia actions provide citizens with information about European topics beyond local and national angles, thus reinforcing Europe's democratic principles. Media financed under this heading retain full editorial independence. Actions are sanctioned by an editorial charter of independence included in all grants.
To achieve this objective, the following actions receive support:
- the TV channel Euronews
- coverage of EU affairs through a radio network
- data-driven news on EU affairs
- multilingual content across European platforms
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.
Over the years, the European Commission and Euronews have signed multiple 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 for the production and distribution of EU programmes and a multilingual offer. 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 magazines through other budget lines.
The 2021 Financing Decision on Multimedia Actions has allocated €16 million to support the production and broadcasting of multilingual programmes on EU affairs by Euronews. The actions are subject to external audits and evaluations to assess the cost structures of the contracts and to provide a qualitative assessment of the performance of the various actions.
Euronews reaches 145 Million people globally each month through TV and digital means.
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. In July 2021, the Commission published a call for proposals to support radio content on EU affairs. Following this call, a one-year grant agreement has been signed with the radio network Euranet Plus.
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 13 radio stations from 13 Member States. These members reach approximately 9 million daily listeners, out of which Euranet Plus expects to reach at least 1.1 million listeners each month. 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.
The total EU co-financing is €2.2 million for 2022.
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. Further to a call for proposals in 2020, the Commission is currently supporting two media consortia. The projects, European Data News Hub and European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet), will last 2 years and run until 2023. The total amount of EU co-financing is €700.000 per project.
Multilingual content across European platforms
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, the Commission launched a new call for proposals. The winning project is a consortium of 16 news agencies, coordinated by the German Press Agency, that will establish 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 €1.76 million and covers two years (2022-2023).