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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 2 October 2014

EC announces new cooperation with European Broadcasting Union in the Neighbourhood region

The European Commission and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will work together to strengthen the independence of the media in the European Neighbourhood Region, following a meeting today between Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and EBU President Jean-Paul Phillipot and EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre.

The organisations have signed and exchanged letters to cement their cooperation in the European Neighbourhood region, building on existing collaboration in the context of EU Enlargement policy.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said: “Freedom of expression, free press and media are the pillars of deep and sustainable democracy, which is one of the core objectives of the European Neighbourhood Policy. I am very happy that the European Broadcasting Union shares our view that securing freedom of expression requires a continuous effort by all stakeholders.”

“I welcome in particular engagement of the EBU in countries like Ukraine, or Tunisia which are undergoing important changes. The role of media and its independence is crucial in assisting this process. I would like to confirm our commitment to cooperate with the EBU on the improvement of the media landscape in the European Neighbourhood region and to advance the cooperation which has already proved to be very successful in the Enlargement region,” added Commissioner Füle.

EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot said: “I warmly welcome cooperation with the European Commission around an issue that we both consider as essential. Independent and sustainable public service media organisations are pillars of freedom of expression and a democratic media landscape. EBU Partnership Programme activities in the European Neighbourhood region will be all the more potent with the backing of the European Commission.”

Under its Partnership Programme, the EBU undertakes various actions targeting public service broadcasters in the Enlargement and European Neighbourhood region. Actions notably include assistance, technical support and training to build internal capacity for independence and long-term sustainability.

Background

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) governs the EU's relations with 16 of its eastern and southern neighbours. To the South: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine (this designation does not entail any recognition of Palestine as a state and is without prejudice to positions on the recognition of Palestine as a state), Syria and Tunisia and to the East: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Russia takes part in Cross-Border Cooperation activities under the ENP and is not a part of the ENP as such.

Current Enlargement aspirants and candidate countries include: Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Turkey.

The EBU is an international non-governmental organisation bringing together 73 public service radio and television companies from 56 countries in the European broadcasting area. The EBU engages in a vast range of activities, including promoting independent public service media, training media professionals and mobilising solidarity amongst its 74 members to help those encountering serious political, technical or financial strife. The Partnership Programme brings several types of EBU activities together to help members in difficulty. A Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and EBU was signed on 24 July 2012 to strengthen public service media in the Enlargement countries. Activities under this agreement cover activities like improving public accountability and credibility of the Public Service Media, contributing to their improved financial sustainability, improving editorial independence and contributing to the readiness of the Public Service Media for the digital future.

For more information

Commissioner Štefan Füle's website

DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid website

Support to the European Neighbourhood region

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre

European Broadcasting Union (EBU-UER)

EBU Partnership Programme

Contacts:

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)


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