Commission launches calls worth €12 million in support of news media and the EU public sphere

The Commission published four new calls for proposals aiming to stimulate a lively and diverse public sphere and promoting citizens’ access to reliable information across the EU. One call will support multilingual media content on EU affairs through digital platforms, while the other aims to increase content production in this area through a network of radio stations. In addition, a pilot project will support youth media networks producing thought-provoking content on current affairs via social media formats and events. Furthermore, a preparatory action for media platforms seeks to improve citizens’ access to trusted information, involving broadcasters and publishers. Together, the calls represent close to €12 million in EU funding. All financed projects will operate with full editorial independence. Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “The pandemic has showed the key role of media to inform us, but it has also undermined the economic situation of the sector. We are increasing and diversifying our sources of funding at European level, providing new opportunities, tools and assistance. We expect Member States to do the same, while fully respecting the independence of the media.”  Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “The news media sector has been severely hit by the challenges of the pandemic, increasing its resilience and stimulating innovation is now more important than ever. It is through such initiatives that we continue to promote and defend a free and pluralistic media ecosystem, placing the spotlight on Europe’s youth as well as on collaboration, to help people compare different viewpoints across borders.” The new calls build on two others recently launched to support the news media sector: a call on journalism partnerships to encourage sector-wide, cross-border collaboration among European news media organisations under the new Creative Europe programme, and a call financed through Horizon Europe, supporting projects focused on innovation for media. These initiatives are part of a broader effort to support a free, viable and pluralistic media environment across the EU, as announced in the European Democracy Action Plan and the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. More information on these and other calls in support of the media sector is available and a tool has also been published to help the media find funding opportunities. Media professionals can also find assistance at the national level via the Creative Europe desks.