The European Commission yesterday (15 April) launched a new television channel to promote its neighbourhood policy and boost the visibility of EU-funded projects in the Mediterranean region.
The new channel seeks to “inform the public about the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, facilitate coverage and broadcasting, stimulate dialogue, and promote cultural diversity and gender equality”.
Part-financed by the Commission to the tune of €2.16m, EuroMed News’s joint production team of France Télévision and hundreds of local broadcasters in countries like Algeria, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Morocco and Lebanon will produce over 17 hours of programming between now and February 2010.
The channel’s main aims are to stimulate dialogue and mutual awareness of those living on either side of the Mediterranean, and to promote cultural diversity and sexual equality.
It also seeks to provide the general public with information on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and enable coverage and broadcasting of Euro-Mediterranean news by broadcasters from across the region.
A range of programmes, including 300 news topics, 40 thirteen-minute magazines and nine 26-minute documentaries will be broadcast on public television across the North Africa and the southern Mediterranean.
EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner singled out citizens of the Union’s North African and Middle Eastern neighbours as the project’s “priority customers” and said they would have “more access to detailed information”.
Possible issues to be covered include employment assistance schemes for young people, eliminating illiteracy among rural women, fighting marine pollution, solar power and the EU’s strategy for developing a “Euro-Mediterranean cultural heritage”.
EuroMed News will be made available to the rest of the world via the Internet.