The EBU has written to the Ukrainian government to urge them not to reduce the budget of Member UA:PBC.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is planning to substantially reduce UA:PBC’s funding which could critically undermine its ability to operate in the future.
While we fully understand the extraordinary pressures created by the fight against COVID-19, public service media (PSM) has a critical role to play in keeping the public informed with trusted and verified news and helping to educate children while schools are closed.
Despite the lack of sufficient protective tools for its journalists, UA:PBC has mobilized all its efforts and resources to help the state in the fight against coronavirus by informing and educating citizens and broadcasting important updates and announcements.
In addition, the broadcaster is actively engaged in optimizing its structure, governance and operations in order to deliver services to citizens in the most efficient way and to be transparent in its spending of public money.
UA:PBC requires the full support of the state to ensure adequate funding and resources to produce high quality content and fulfil its important role in society.
Over the last few years, UA:PBC has experienced continuous underfunding, which has impacted negatively on its development and investment in new technology and platforms. This is in contradiction to European standards, and in particular Recommendation 1878 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe on funding of public service broadcasting, which requires adequate long-term funding’ for PSM.
It has already been a huge challenge for UA:PBC to operate and reform with only half its expected budget. The recent freezing of UA:PBC’s accounts, following a Ministry of Justice’s ruling, further exacerbates the situation and has resulted in the suspension of the launch of important new projects, most notably in the domain of news.
We urge the government to find a suitable resolution to ensure UA:PBC can continue serve society at such a critical time.