A number of MEPs from the major European political parties, have called on the European Union to support the strengthening of democracy by establishing a dedicated News Media Fund. They have also recommended partnerships with the private sector to support such assistance.
The MEPs, including Malta’s David Casa, also called for the main cultural programme of the European Union to be strengthened. As it stands, financing for projects in the area of media pluralism and freedom and media literacy within the third cross-sectoral strand was envisaged at just EUR 61 million, to be divided up among 27 Member States for a seven-year period. “That is not enough and needs to be increased multiple times”, the MEPs insisted.
The MEPs said that the crisis is significantly speeding up the shift to a digital future and the need for digital investment and innovations at present are crucial for the news media sector to survive.
In a letter sent to European authorities, including the presidents of the European Commission the European Council and the European Parliament as well as to national Governments, the MEPs insisted that “it is our shared responsibility to preserve media plurality and quality journalism across the European Union, thereby also strengthening our democracies and resilience to disinformation and foreign information operations.”