Written Question: Future EU financing of the Euranet Plus radio network
(Source: European Parliament)
Date Submitted: 27 May 2021
Question for oral answer O-000036/2021
to the Commission
on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education
Subject: Future EU financing of the Euranet Plus radio network
Over the last 15 years, the pan-European radio network Euranet Plus has successfully contributed, through its diverse membership of 13 public and private radio broadcasters based in 13 Member States, to bridging the information gap between the EU and its citizens by strengthening understanding of and promoting debate on all fields of EU policymaking.
1. Does the Commission acknowledge the unique nature of Euranet Plus, a pan-European radio network with dynamic editorial services and its own agency that plans co-productions, promotes exchanges and produces truly pan-European, tailor-made formats for its members, which makes it incomparable with any individual radio broadcaster as regards its mission, organisation and mode of operation?
2. Does the Commission confirm its intention to discontinue direct grant support to Euranet Plus on 31 December 2021, in full knowledge of the unavoidable consequences for the network, whose central office in Brussels will be shut down rapidly and its staff made redundant in early 2022 if it receives no further EU funding?
3. Can the Commission explain why, in its opinion, Euranet Plus no longer meets the requirements of Article 195 of the Financial Regulation, which it did meet in 2017 and 2019, thus disqualifying it today from a closed financing procedure, in spite of significant investments made by the organisation in recent years that have inter alia led to enhanced editorial control and in effect strengthened the specific characteristics justifying an exception to the general rule of grant award on the basis of a call for proposals?
4. Can the Commission explain what arrangements would need to be made, in both legal and budgetary terms, in order to provide a two-year direct grant agreement to Euranet Plus, by way of a transitional measure, for the period 2022-2023?