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The EUROPA-TV Consortium is currently experiencing serious difficulties. It would therefore be useful to take a brief look at its history and the reasons why the Commission became involved in its activities. The experimental satellite broadcasts of EUROPA-TV, started on 5 October 1985 under the aegis of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) by five public service television stations, are the follow-up to the EURIKON experiments of 1982.(1) The aim of the two series of experiments was to check certain theories, in particular : - the possibility of multilingual broadcasts; - the possibility of televised news produced by multinational teams and aimed at an European audience, - the general scope for multinational activity making use of the potential of television satellites with a view to the introduction of direct satellite broadcasting (DSB). These theories, based on technical developments, offer a way of overcoming language barriers and the difficulties that have always prevented the people of Europe from learning about each other. This is why the Commission lent its support to the project, in response to the wishes expressed on several occasions by the European Parliament, starting with the HAHN Resolution of 1982. Both the EURIKON and the EUROPA-TV projects confirmed the validity of the initial theories, and this has been further supported by recent reports from independent experts (e.g. the MacKinsey Report). (1) In 1982, the Commission provided assistance for the EURIKON project : five weeks of closed-circuit multilingual broadcasts by five European television bodies : IBA, RAI, NOS, ORF and ARD. - 2 - Further confirmation of the value of the project comes from the strong interest, accompanied by substantial offers of financing, expressed by private bodies seeking involvement with EUROPA-TV. As matters stand, the partners of the EUROPA-TV Consortium are meeting to discuss the programme's future, including the possibility of closing down the project on grounds of what they call "financial difficulties". The partners in question are major public European stations : the ARD in Germany, RAI in Italy, the NOS in Holland, the RTE in Ireland and the RTP in Portugal. The financial difficulties of EUROPA-TV, which amount to no more than an inadequate cash flow situation that is only to be expected in this type of project, are such as to be within the financial means of the partners to cover. It therefore seems likely that should the consortium decide to call a halt to the project, it would be as a result of hesitations in some other area and of a change in political will. The Commission has contributed one million ECU to the projects on multilingual and multinational news. It is now waiting for the reports provided for under its Agreement with the Consortium, and proposes to weigh its future action carefully, including the legal aspects of the situation.