Ukrainian Member UA:PBC may be forced to close by the end of April if they are unable to secure sufficient funding.
Speaking at a Council of Europe conference in Kiev last week, UA:PBC managers stressed the urgency of finding adequate funding for the broadcaster which has been functioning with only half the budget prescribed by Ukrainian law.
UA:PBC, which celebrated its first birthday earlier this year, is going through a challenging process of restructuring to consolidate 28 regional units throughout the country, reduce staff numbers and make the switch to digital.
At last week’s conference, Members of Parliament, public service media experts, relevant institutions and representatives of civil society, came together to discuss funding models and best practice for public service media.
Finding sustainable funding for public service media in Ukraine is a long term ambition which will require changes in the legal framework and a new collection mechanism. At the same time, the broadcaster needs an urgent short term solution to ensure it can continue to function until the end of the year.
Head of Member Relations, CEE, Radka Betcheva said: “ We are extremely concerned that the lack of sustainable funding for UA:PBC will stifle the growth and development of this important democratic institution and is threatening its very existence at the current time. This may jeopardise Ukraine’s EU accession talks and endanger further EU financial help moving forward.”