Think EU-MED

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shared Euro-Mediterranean news –a shared destiny?

On 15 April, the European Commission launched a new media project to foster co-operation and dialogue with the Middle East and North African neighbours. The new television channel EuroMed-News aims to promote the EU’s neighbourhood policy and boost the visibility of EU-funded projects in the region. EuroMed-News is a 1-year project supported by the European Commission with €2.16m with a possible option for extension.

The cultural and political ties between the EU and its southern neighbours have not significantly improved since the Barcelona process and the launch of a Union for the Mediterranean last year. The new television channel EuroMed-News aims to strengthen the intercultural dialogue with the neighbour partners in the south and promote cultural diversity and gender equality. According to EU's external relations Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, "little by little, using these images, we can help these societies become more open."
In addition, the EuroMed-News seeks to increase the coverage of EU issues in the media and to raise the public opinion awareness regarding EU’s policies. The EU-funded project guarantees some media attention to improve the image of the Union in the neighbour countries. Thus, one of the central policies of the new channel is to foster the awareness among the local populations by providing information about European policies and actions supported by the European Union which benefit the countries in the neighbouring region.

The EuroMed-News project is jointly produced by the Arab States Broadcasting Union, Euro-Mediterranean media association COPEAM and the European Broadcasting Union under the leadership of France Télévisions. Furthermore, it gathers broadcasters and national TV stations from Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya und Algeria to reach a broad coverage. EuroMed-News will produce news topics, magazines and documentaries about North African society and the economy. The programmes will be broadcast on public television across the southern Mediterranean States and is available via the Internet.

It remains open whether the EuroMed-News can really create better cultural and social ties between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean States. Sure is, that both regions have much more in common than just the Mediterranean Sea. The executive producer Lyes Belaribi is hopefully right when he states on the website: "The Mediterranean plan, a shared destiny".

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