EU Action Plan

Bolstering public service media within countries wanting to join the EU

In recognition of the vital role played by public service media in European society, the EBU and the European Commission signed a partnership agreement in 2012, aimed at strengthening public service media in countries seeking to join the EU.

Strengthening Members in EU accession countries

In March 2013, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed by EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and European Commissioner Stefan Füle, the Partnership Programme began implementing a wide-ranging two-year action plan, co-funded by the European Commission, to strengthen the EBU’s Members in the EU accession countries Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia (which joined the EU in July 2013), Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Key activities within this action plan include:

  • Training of journalists, and the training of trainers, on the principles and practice of public service news
  • A project on investigative journalism in collaboration with the EUROVISION ACADEMY
  • Conferences on key topics for public service media such as PSM and the citizen, PSM and minorities, PSM and Parliaments. (A conference focused on PSM and Roma minorities has led to a news exchange on Roma topics over the Eurovision network.)

Activities in 2014 include a new programme of workshops and coaching on investigative journalism – a pressing need in many countries. There will be conferences on the governance of PSM, PSM and the citizen, and the relationship between PSM and parliaments.

There will be workshops on digitizing audiovisual archives, producing useful publication tools for Members and assistance in developing and updating of strategic plans.

The Partnership Programme is also providing assistance to a number of other EBU Members, including those in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – four of the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries -  and the southern Mediterranean countries.

On 2 October 2014, the EBU and the European Commission signed and exchanged letters to cement their cooperation in the European Neighbourhood region, building on existing collaboration in the context of EU Enlargement policy.

Success stories

Hundreds of journalists trained in public service news – Journalists from the EBU’s Western Balkan Members have been trained to apply EBU values in public service news since spring 2013.  The best of 90 journalists trained by the EBU in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia and Serbia have themselves been trained as trainers and multiplied the lessons in well-received seminars to their own colleagues.

Taskforce and news exchange on Roma issues – A regional EBU conference on public service media and minorities (Pristina, April 2013) established a group of five devoted professionals steering activities to promote and exchange programmes on Roma issues. This taskforce is currently developing a curriculum for Roma journalists

Strategy development  - The Partnership Programme has provided in-depth assistance on strategic planning to Georgian Public Broadcasting, RTCG (Montenegro), Teleradio Moldova and NTU (Ukraine). Much appreciated, the assistance will be followed up reviews and strategic updates.  

Successful political actions – Interventions by senior EBU officials, face-to-face and in writing, have successfully convinced  national politicians in favour of Albania, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and elsewhere to give greater editorial independence and/or financial support to EBU Members.

Communication with citizens improved – A regional conference in Podgorica, Montenegro (March 2013) discussed how public service media can and should communicate with their audiences, leading to positive changes on the websites of broadcasters involved.

Sponsorship for training – Financial support from the Partnership Programme has financed bespoke training from the EUROVISION ACADEMY for several less well-resourced EBU Members and enabled many of their staff to take part in ACADEMY Master Classes.

Audiovisual archives - Creation of a working group for the collective digitisation of archives, and organisation of an archives workshop at the EBU

EU.png This project is funded by the European Union.

"The EBU Partnership Programme enabled RTCG to better position itself in the media market. We received a framework for our future: programme improvement and the organizational and structural reform of RTCG."

Rade Vojvodic, DG of RTCG Montenegro