On February 26, 2008, the European Commission announced that a network of national and regional radio stations from across the EU would coproduce and broadcast European affairs news programs. The press release issued on the occasion notes that starting this April, the initiative unveiled by communications commissioner Margot Wallström will see news, analysis, opinion, and discussion programs broadcast daily on several radio frequencies. The programs will reach an estimated 19 million in the EU alone and a further 30 million in the rest of the world.
“I am always looking for new ways of enabling a maximum of Europeans to have access to fair and balanced information on EU affairs,” explained Ms. Wallström. “Although funded by the Commission, the new network will have total editorial independence,” adds the release.
Initially programs will be broadcast in ten languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Romanian. This will extend gradually to 23, with at least one radio station per EU country by 2013.
The network (coordinated by Deutsche Welle and Radio France International) already includes 16 stations across Europe, including Radio Polskie, Punto Radio, Radio Netherlands, and Radio Slovenia International. The European Commission concludes by noting that a related website will also be up and running by July 2008 to provide extra information and give visitors the opportunity to download radio podcasts of their favorite programs.