Public service media in action
What's in a name?
The EBU Partnership Programme was launched in 2009 as the Special Assistance Project.
The project was renamed in June 2012, just weeks before signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the EBU and the European Commission.
"The word partnership implies a relationship of dialogue and equality, and of the EBU working with and alongside Members and other partners, rather than a top-down provision of aid. Our goal is to empower Members by sharing collective expertise."
Ingrid Deltenre, Director General
Under this scheme, the EBU Partnership Programme sponsors select candidates from eligible Members to participate in courses mounted by the EUROVISION ACADEMY which their organizations would be otherwise unable to afford. For more information and contact details click here.
EPP also sponsors a bilateral scheme to twin professionals, usually of two EBU Members, in response to a specific need or request from a PP-eligible Member. After the Programme has identified a willing and qualified expert or "mentor", a tailor-made scheme will usually follow a three-stage approach: (1) Assessment stage – the mentor visits the counterpart at his or her workplace, (2) Research stage – the "mentee" visits the mentor at his or her organisation, and (3) Implementation stage - the mentee draws conclusions and implements accordingly, with follow-up advice from the mentor when necessary.
A report on the EBU Scholarships 2011-2012, which were generously supported by the Open Society Institute, may be found here.
Future scholarships will be funded by the Partnership Programme's own fund. For more information, details and eventual requests, please contact David Lewis.
Head of Member Relations and EBU Partnership Programme
with particular responsibility for eastern Europe
Tel: +41 22 717 2002
Mobile: +41 21 709 22
Head of Institutional Relations
with particular responsibility for southern Europe and smaller EBU Members
Tel: +41 22 717 2013
Mobile: +41 79 787 2059
Senior Project Manager, Partnership Programme
Tel: +41 22 717 2006
Mobile: +41 79 545 05 01
Tel: +32 2 286 91 13
The EBU Partnership Programme (EPP) aims to strengthen the cause of public service media (PSM) in Europe through tailored interventions to selected Members in need of strategic consultancy, lobbying, training and political intervention. Activities are carried out in partnership with the broadcaster concerned and fellow Members acting in a spirit of solidarity, often with the support of external bodies.
Solidarity in practice
During its start-up phase, the Programme provided eligible Members with:
- 700 hours of high-quality European programmes made available by fellow EBU Members
- seminars on management, digital archiving and news production
- consultancy on strategy and planning
- lobbyist representation at the highest government levels.
In 2010, the Executive Board approved a second phase of activity. Funding was unlocked to help selected Members modernize and narrow the growing digital divide.
The Programme pursued a strategy of alliances with organizations equally convinced that independent and sustainable PSM play a pivotal role in building democratic societies and social cohesion (the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, and the OSCE, for example). .
The EBU Director General, the President and Vice-President regularly meet prime ministers, finance ministers and other senior officials to promote reform, adequate financing and an appropriate legal framework for Members in question.
The Partnership Programme accepts requests from all Members seeking assistance that goes beyond routine services provided by the Permanent Services. When the requests can be met, and when the assistance will clearly promote the EBU Values, the costs will be borne either wholly by the Partnership Programme, part by the Programme and part by the requesting Member, or totally by the Member.
Together with specific EBU knowledge of the Member concerned, the eligibility assessment takes into account a basket of indicators including World Bank statistics, the number of EBU membership fee units paid by the Member in question, and the Member’s operating expenditure as a proportion of the country’s gdp.
Members seeking assistance through the Partnership Programme are invited to contact David Lewis or Radka Betcheva (see contact details below) to ascertain their category of eligibility. However, it is recognized that Members’ circumstances may change more rapidly than the available official statistics. In such cases the unit will exercise their judgment and discretion on request in consultation with the CFAO and the Director General.
So far, assistance has been provided to Members in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Egypt, Kosovo, Latvia, Libya, Lebanon, FYR Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
Look out for
On 24 July 2012, the EBU and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding, unlocking EU funding for EPP activities aimed at strengthening PSM in countries seeking to join the EU. An estimated EUR 500,000 of European funding will be released in 2013 and 2014 to help support a two-year "start-up action plan" to strengthen public service media in the Enlargement region. It is hoped that the EU will subsequently sign a similar agreement, and provide additional funding for work by the EBU in countries neighbouring the EU to the East and South.
Workshops on investigative journalism – a pressing need in many countries – will be held in Georgia and Moldova and the Czech Republic in 2013, in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organization.
Allies and partners
- In June 2011, the EBU and the Council of Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) defining shared objectives and values – in particular the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The MoU creates a framework for strengthening existing cooperation and action to promote media freedom and pluralism in the interests of democracy.
- In September 2011, a Protocol on Regional Cooperation in Education and Training, was signed in Sarajevo by the EBU, the Sarajevo-based Regional Cooperation Council, and members of the European Association of PSM in South East Europe (PSM in SEE).
- The EPP coordinates an EBU Media Development Network including Deutsche Welle, Canal France International/France Télévisions, BBC Media Action and Members which are particularly active in the media development field.
- The OSCE has supported work by EPP to develop a forward-looking strategy for the EBU’s Member in Montenegro, RTCG. The EBU Director General has agreed to exchange information on political interventions with the OSCE’s representative on Freedom of the Media.
- The United Nations Development Programme has provided substantial support to strategic work by the Partnership Programme in Moldova and Georgia.
- UNESCO included the defence of PSM in the top priorities of the final document issued at the 2012 World Press Freedom Day held in Tunis on May 3 and 4. A MoU with UNESCO is currently under discussion.