The European Commission launches further support for independent broadcasting in Belarus
The European Commission has begun preparations for a 2 million Euro project to increase access in Belarus to independent sources of news and information. This follows the 138.000 Euro contract already granted to Deutsche Welle Radio which will begin broadcasting via radio and Internet on November 1. Interested broadcasters have until 11th October to signal their interest in a new contract for “production and broadcasting on television and radio in Belarusian and Russian over a period of two years starting on 1st January 2006. The aim is to provide access to independent information about events in Belarus and in the outside world, and to enhance the knowledge of the Belarusian population about democracy, pluralism, rule of law, freedom of the press and human rights.
The Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “I am deeply committed to helping the people of Belarus. The human rights situation in Belarus is deteriorating, and if the country is to find its way onto the path to democracy, the people need access to free media. The lack of freedom of expression, and the constraints on the media in the country are a matter for grave concern and the European
Commission is treating this as priority issue”.
Candidates for the contract may be individual broadcasters or consortia of smaller companies, who are already operating in the region. The tender is open to broadcasters, or consortia who can demonstrate an annual turnover of more than 3 million euro.
Tendering procedures can be found on the Europe Aid calls and tender: