Parliamentary question on a NEWS media sub-programme | Reply from Commissioner Breton

Read the parliamentary question on a potential NEWS sub-programme (Creative Europe), the Media Action Plan and short term measures for the media (submitted by MEP Andrus Ansip):

“Independent and free media is instrumental for the functioning of democracy.

The news media sector is in crisis. The revenues of global service providers who are able to sell behavioural advertising are increasing. At the same time, the revenues of quality news media outlets are decreasing. COVID-19 has decreased media revenues even further. Sufficiently funded news media is essential as it provides information and tackles disinformation.

The Commission has proposed several instruments to support the media sector under Next Generation EU and the multiannual financial framework: Creative Europe, Digital Europe, InvestEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, REACT-EU and many others. The MEDIA sub‑programme of Creative Europe has become a reference point for the film and audiovisual sectors. However, none of the aforementioned programmes have news media as their priority. It often happens that when many people have to take care of something alongside other things, nobody is responsible for the result.

  1. Does the Commission agree that more attention needs to be paid to quality media, rather than it just being covered under different programmes?
  2. Has the feasibility of a future NEWS programme already been analysed?
  3. Does the Commission agree that a separate programme aiming to directly support news media and quality journalism is needed?”


Here is the reply from Commissioner Thierry Breton on behalf of the European Commission given in December 2020:

“The Commission fully agrees on the importance of independent and free media for the functioning of democracies. Over the last few years, a growing portfolio of actions in the field of media freedom and pluralism has been supported with the help of the European Parliament, through Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions.

In parallel, the Commission has increased support for media innovation through Horizon 2020. COVID-19 accelerates the need for innovation, for which the Commission has developed additional actions within the limits of the available instruments.

The Media and Audiovisual Action Plan, adopted in December 2020, puts forward a ‘NEWS’ initiative bundling these actions under a common banner to increase the coherence, visibility, and impact of actions supported under various funding streams.

As of 2021, a dedicated set of actions for news media is foreseen under the Creative Europe Programme for projects in the field of media literacy, media freedom and pluralism, and for collaborative projects in which media exchange best practices.

In addition, the EU’s investment programmes will be used to help the sector deploy innovation, data and digital technologies, and InvestEU will enhance access to finance.

To coordinate discussions on these actions as well as other funding opportunities and concerns, the Commission will organise a European News Media Forum to facilitate a structured dialogue, leverage best practices and steer innovation.

Furthermore, the Commission stands ready to work together with Member States to help the media sector recover and adapt, through recovery funds or innovative national policies.”