A total of 16 international broadcasters, including Deutsche Welle, have said they will create a new media project. The venture is set to report on EU affairs and provide a European point of view on international issues.
The EU hopes the European Radio Network will include a station from each member state
EURANET, as the European Radio Network is called, is scheduled to start in April and provide 30 to 60 minutes of daily news dealing with European affairs from a European perspective, EU Commissioner for Communications Margot Wallstrom said in Brussels on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
The programming will be co-produced and simultaneously broadcast by the 16 media organizations in 13 countries taking part in the project.
Initiated by the Deutsche Welle and Radio France Internationale, project organizers consulted media experts from several European countries to develop a way for news operations to cooperate closely on international, national, regional and local levels, DW Director-General Erik Bettermann told reporters.
Will the radio network make the EU easier for people to latch on to?
"EURANET will make it much easier to exchange high-quality journalistic reports from various European regions," Bettermann said, adding that the consortium would be editorially independent from the EU. "EURANET will emphasize the common ground among the countries without losing sight of the differences."
Financed by the European Commission for the next five years with an annual budget of 5.8 million euros ($8.6 million), EURANET aims to integrate broadcasters from all 27 EU member states representing all 23 official EU languages by 2013.
The audience is estimated at between 12 million and 19 million daily listeners in the European Union plus around 30 million in the rest of the world. The consortium said it hopes to increase the EU audience to around 30 million.
The project's participants plan to use the Internet as well as existing frequencies to broadcast programming in 10 languages (Bulgarian, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish). EURANET's Internet site is scheduled to go online at the beginning of July.
In addition to Deutsche Welle, participants in EURANET include Radio France Internationale, Radio Polskie, Punto Radio, Radio Netherlands Wereldomroep as well as broadcasters from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece and Portugal. The EU Commission said it hopes the consortium will grow to include at least one broadcaster per member state.