Monday, October 11, 2010

A pan-European T.V. channel/broadcaster for transparency?

Wouldn't be great if we could have more transparency of what is going on in Brussels and the EU? People are in general unaware about the actions of the European Parliament and even a lot of the do not know who their MEPs are.

We need to allow them greater access to European politics, for democracy and the guaranteed success of the European project.

It is about time that people had an idea on what is actually being discussed in the European Parliament, as many decisions that are being made there affects them directly. The best way of achieving this in my opinion is the formation of pan-EU media.
Recently the Europarl TV was launched, a brilliant idea to reach EU citizens directly. The national Governments' lack of enthusiasm in informing the citizens how the EU works, can be at last dealt with. But then again the internet is great, but most people I know just download music,movies and videos from it, socialize in social network sites, or just keep in touch by e-mails.

Not as many actually go on-line to watch a speech given by an MEP in the EP. Besides there is the older generation that we need to attract too,or others that are the so called "technophobes" and those people do not use the internet for their information.

A pan-European T.V channel is more suitable for the European citizens.One that everyone can have access to it. There is Euronews of course for news and other topics,and the French/German T.V. channel ARTEL, but only about 7 million viewers in EU out of almost 500 million regularly watch them.

It will be a channel that if the public want to watch it , will be just one zap away. If they do not, then they won't. So no one can accuse EU of promoting its so called "propaganda." Because there are people that see every move by the EU of promoting and introducing itself to it's citizen's as one.
There could be (let's say the name of the channel is EUTV) EUTV ITALIANO, EUTV SVENSKA, EUTV SLOVENSKO, EUTV ESPANOL, EUTV HELLENIC, EUTV EIRE,EUTV SUOMI and so on. One channel for every language of EU, partly financed by EU, partly by the states.

It will broadcast the same context but translated in many languages just like Euronews is doing right now. The context will include movies, news, soap operas, cultural events, cartoons, documentaries etc from all EU members, along with EU news and broadcasting from the European Parliament.

In that way people of one country will get to know the culture and all the events taking place in another EU state. Besides with more and more expats living in another EU country, what better way in staying connected with the country of their origin?

Thus citizens of all ages and backgrounds could have access and an understanding for the EU activities and updates. In my opinion citizens deserve this.We pay and spent money for other ridiculous things , we should start working in gaining the trust and interest of the citizens for a change. I am sure it will pay off in the long term. 

For direct European democracy and transparency, the television can become a great tool for information and stimulating an active participation in European politics, an active citizenship.

About the Cultural Capital of Europe

I was wondering why we never see ,watch or hear any updates from the Cultural Capital of Europe events in our national media. Every year one or two cities of Europe have the honor of being the Cultural Capital of the continent.

But we as citizens, have never the opportunity of watching on our national television any acts, events or news from the Capital, unless we are living in the city itself. What is its purpose then?

Just another way for the local Municipality of making money or receiving funds from the EU budget? Isn't it supposed to have a purpose other than giving money to the City Councils? God knows how those money are used. Isn't one of its purposes for Europeans to getting to know the city, its history, its culture,and the country it belongs as well?

And of course to promote and celebrate European culture, that comes in so many ways, in all its countries echoing from centuries old traditions, depending the city's history. It should be considered a great cultural event, but it is actually only the Eurovision Song Contest that gets our attention once a year. And I would not actually call this contest the best example of European culture.

Wouldn't be nice if we did watch events from the Cultural Capital, and get to know other cities or regions of Europe, coming in contact with other European cultures, way of living, arts, history, an so on? How do our leaders expect the EU project to succeed, if they leave people indifferent and they do not inspire them to follow and embrace the project?

It could be a great tourist attraction opportunity as well; judging by the need for extra cash in most countries in Europe now-days, what better way to promote your cultural wealth and attract tourists?  People would watch, read, or experience all the best that a city has to offer, become more curious about it and book a holiday there, either during the events, or in later years.

It could also lead to a booming of arts and crafts in every region of Europe, if the money that were invested in each city were not only used for reconstruction, but also to create and support local artists and cultural communities. Never mind creating a sense of belonging to all EU citizens, by allowing people from one side of Europe to watch how other European people live their lives and celebrate their traditions.

To conclude, for me the EU should also be about people, history and of course the various cultures of Europe. Either our leaders like it or not, the EU project is about the people of Europe too, not just its elite. The sooner they understand this, the better results we will have in the European project.

The current European Capitals of Europe for the 2012 are the cities of Maribor in Slovenia and Guimaraes in Portugal by the way. How many of you did you know this?