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Building bridges with international institutions to strengthen the PSM voice

19 May 2022
Photo of Nicola Frank

The EBU has developed institutional relationships with many intergovernmental and international organizations with regional or international broadcasting associations and civil society organizations. The goal of this work is to make Public Service Media’s (PSM) voice heard and represent the EBU’s and its members’ interests. The topics where we are most active is journalist safety and gender equity.

This work has evolved from the different EBU departments that have already been involved in cooperation with international organizaions, sometimes over many years. My role relies on efficient cooperation with my colleagues and our Members. Enhancing existing EBU initiatives and identifying synergies is central to what I do.

Our goal is to promote PSM, its values and key role for democratic societies, showcasing our members’ content and innovative services as well as EBU initiatives.

With the Council of Europe, for example, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering policy development, communication activities, awareness raising and capacity building. Our observer status with this organization allows us to give input to PSM-related standard setting. As a partner organization of its Platform for the Safety of Journalism we can alert member countries of the Council of Europe about serious concerns about media freedom and safety of journalists and request a reaction.

Our partnership with the UN office in Geneva ensures that our Members have access to live transmissions and video news items covering UN activities. Every year, UNTV Geneva produces some 200 edited international news items, which are distributed via Eurovision News Exchange.

As an associate partner of UNESCO, we contribute to the organization’s activities on cultural diversity, the World Press Freedom Day, the Global Media Literacy Week and gender equality. We have also joined the Global Education Coalition which was set up as a response to the pandemic and we have cooperated on AI and ethics.

The EBU is a sector member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The most important EBU cooperation is our contribution to the Radiocommunications sector and the World Radiocommunication Conference and the future of the UHF band and other frequencies used for broadcast distribution.

Global intellectual property treaties are established by WIPO. The EBU has an official observer status and has, over many years, followed, for example, discussions on the Broadcasting Treaty. Our latest WIPO statement is here.

As a member of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and an official partner of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) we bring a media perspective to the global and European discussions.

Regular meetings with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media ensure exchange on the situation of PSM across the OSCE region and have led to cooperation on AI and freedom of expression and on the safety of journalists.

EBU Members have their say on these activities in the International Broadcasting Assembly. This group works on strategic issues, such as media freedom and journalist safety, distribution and platform policy, diversity, equity and inclusion as well as copyright and piracy.

The World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) is at the centre of our cooperation with our sister unions across the world. Themes here include media freedom, the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty and technical issues. We also exchange on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

I invite you to visit our Intstitutional Relations page for information on the different initiatives.

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Institutional Relations