Report from the event “The Promise of the EU”

“The Promise of the EU” was a keynote event organised by the Italian Presidency and the European Commission in Rome, 12-13. Sept. 2014. During the event three major questions were examined by six working groups:
- How much unity do citizens want and what are the areas in which integration should take place?
- What would make the EU more democratic?
- What is the overall expectation of citizens from the EU?

Gabriella Velics, a member of CMFE board was invited and worked in the “Editorial independence as democratic value” working group.

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European Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism

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While the status of the commissioner-designates is still not decided (and multilingualism is not featured anymore in a portfolio explicitly), the meeting of the European Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism took place in Brussels on 17th of October, 2014. NGOs from all over Europe met to discuss the promotion of multilingualism in the European Union as well as in the member organisations.

CMFE has been a partner in this platform for several years (projects included www.poliglotti4.eu) and Judith Purkarthofer who attends the meetings on behalf of CMFE will continue to stress the important role of community media in offering possibilities for social cohesion. The everyday multilingualism that is present in community radio stations, TV stations and web-based projects is outstanding and still the efforts and achievements of Community media in this respect are not fully  recognized.
Come back soon to find a collection of initiatives promoting multilingualism on our website!

New Commissioner-designate for Education, Culture, Youth & Citizenship

Update: More questions will be asked on Monday, 6th of October – Listen here to the Recording of the first Hearing  (1st of October, 6pm): http://www.elections2014.eu/en/new-commission/hearing/20140918HEA65207

While stating his commitment to European values, questions regarding civil society organizations in Hungary were answered rather vaguely. After the re-amendments of the media law in 2010 (after EU interventions), now the commissioner-designate can not see any points of disagreement between Hungary and the EU. Apparently this was not convincing to the committee.

2nd October 2014: Letter from Pieter de Wit
Dear Ms Trüpel,
Thank you for your question: “Will you, as Commissioner, defend media pluralism in the European Union, when in your country you prompted many actions defying those values?”
Mr Tibor Navracsics, the Commissioner-designate for Education, Culture, Youth & Citizenship, answered:
“Any problems that emerged with the plurality of the media from the point of view of legislation we settled with the Council of Europe and with the European Commission. And we amended the media law where it was necessary.”

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Belfast’s Local Television Channel, NVTV, launches.

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Belfast’s local television channel, NVTV, begins broadcasting today, Monday September 29th, via Freeview channel 8 and Virgin Media Cable 159. NVTV, which has a twelve-year license, will broadcast local news, current affairs, documentaries, arts and culture, music, local history, business and sports.

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CMFE General Assembly 2014 – Save-the-date

Dear Members,

CMFE will be convening its 2014 ordinary General Assembly on Friday, 7th November 2014 at 2pm at Freiland Potsdam, Friedrich-Engels-Straße 22, 14473 Potsdam, in conjunction with the Congress of the German Free Radio Association BFR (Bundesverband Freier Radios).

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European Day of Languages

For some years now, the 26th of September is a day for celebrating languages. Community media is very important as a space of multilingual exchange and all over the world, community media enclose broadcasts and media products in a wide variety of languages. CMFE is also member of initiatives to foster multilingualism within the EU (i.e. poliglotti.eu).

Androulla VASSILIOU, Member of the European Commission for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, talks about Why languages matter: European and national perspectives on multilingualism

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Belgian CSA: Local radio weekend event

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The Belgian Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) on the occasion of the 100 anniversary of radio and with the support of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, is organising a local radio event « Studio sur rue » (Studio on the street). On the weekend of 26, 27 and 28 September 2014, 20 independent local radio stations from Wallonia and Brussels will open their studios for the public or present themselves on the city’s streets.

There are 78 independent radio stations, better known as “local radios”, in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels. These radios, licensed by the CSA, are characterised by the fact that they focus on a specific territory and aim to be close to the local communities.

- See more at: http://studiosurrue.be/programme [in French, source Belgian CSA]

Report on the Future of UHF

On 1 September 2014 Pascal Lamy, chair of the UHF High Level Group, presented the report on the future of the UHF band to Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe. The report is about how to use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum (the 700 Megahertz (MHz) band) most effectively in the coming decades. The UHF band represents “prime real estate” in terms of use, capacity and reach.
Christer Hederström and Pieter de Wit, board members, represented CMFE. On behalf of CMFE we stressed to address European citizens instead of consumers, taking into account the specific role community (and public) media play in providing platforms for democratic participation in open societies. The specific needs for digital terrestrial video frequencies for community media are mentioned in the Inventory Report and Community Media is recognized as relevant player next to other broadcasting and telecommunication (broadband) players.
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Time for community media in Central and Eastern Europe

CEJC_Spring2014While the community media sector may be reported as established and well developed in Western Europe, it has grown considerably more slowly in almost all countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The knowledge about the condition and possibilities for development of the sector in the region is also limited. Urszula Doliwa (CMFE Board Member, University of Warmia and Mazury, Poland) and Larisa Rankovic (Belgrade University, Serbia) in the article “Time for community media in Central and Eastern Europe” (Central European Journal of Communication Volume 7 No. 1 (12) Spring 2014) try to look at the problem of community media in Central and Eastern Europe in general and present the specific problems of the community media development in this region from the Eastern perspective.
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German Community Media Associations Join Forces

30 Jahre Bürgerfunk in Deutschland: Bundesverband Bürger- und Ausbildungsmedien (bvbam) und Bundesverband Offener Kanäle (BOK) vereinbaren Kooperation

New cooperation of German association of open channels (bok) and association of citizen and educational media (bvbam) announced. After 30 years of community / citizen radio in Germany, this cooperation will strengthen the role of community media as a platform for local media pluralism, space of media pedagogy and of professional qualification. A common newsletter is planned, to inform the public on new developments and events of the sector in Germany. The new cooperation was announced by chairmen Armin Ruda (BOK) and Dr. Wolfgang Ressmann (bvbam).

Further Information (in German): www.bok.de or www.bvbam.de