1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
A free and pluralistic media landscape is essential for the democratic process as it ensures that diverse sources of information and multiple views are available, enables the media to act as a public watchdog and provides forums for public debates.
Coverage and balanced reporting of a variety of voices and discourses, including coverage of realities relevant to minorities is central to the functioning of a pluralistic and democratic society.
Simultaneously, minorities may often be exposed to dominant opinion-forming powers and might face disadvantages or obstacles in terms of the availability or access to media outlets that provide them with a voice.
Moreover, journalists and other media professionals working in media outlets operating in minority languages may have a more limited choice of professional development opportunities than their colleagues working in mainstream media outlets.
The main objective of this pilot project is to provide media professionals working in minority languages across Europe the opportunity to undertake internships with professional media outlets within the European Union. A broad range of minority languages will be covered, including languages spoken by migrants.
Pilot project within the meaning of Article 58(2)(a) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
2. OBJECTIVE(S) – THEME(S) – PRIORITIES
The objective of the call under the present pilot project is to provide media professionals working in minority languages the opportunity to undertake internships and training activities with professional media outlets within the European Union .
This will enable them to gain a broader and more comprehensive understanding of different media and newsroom cultures and allow the hosting outlets to benefit from fresh perspectives.
The foreseen activities will give participants the opportunity to gain professional insights into European media companies, enhance their journalistic skills through peer learning, and contribute to the open discussion of European affairs in minority-language media and, ultimately, minority-language communities.
Interns will be able to use the acquired skills in their home media outlets and will also be able to build professional networks enabling them to better collaborate across borders.
For the purposes of this call, a minority language is defined as any language used in an EU Member State that is not an official EU language of that Member State.
While the vast majority of EU Member States have one official EU language, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta have more than one official EU language.
For the purpose of this call, the official EU language/s to be considered are the following:: German for Austria; Dutch, French and German for Belgium; Bulgarian for Bulgaria; Croatian for Croatia; Greek for Cyprus; Czech for Czechia; Danish for Denmark; Estonian for Estonia; Finnish and Swedish for Finland; French for France; German for Germany; Greek for Greece; Hungarian for Hungary; Irish and English for Ireland; Italian for Italy; Latvian for Latvia; Lithuanian for Lithuania; French and German for Luxembourg; Maltese and English for Malta; Dutch for the Netherlands; Polish for Poland; Portuguese for Portugal; Romanian for Romania; Slovak for Slovakia; Slovenian for Slovenia; Spanish for Spain; Swedish for Sweden.
An overview of the official EU languages can be found at Europa webportal here:
A media professional residing in Italy, working for a German-speaking newspaper would be eligible to do an internship abroad, for instance in a media organisation in Germany or Austria, but also in Italy.
A media professional residing in Lithuania, working for a Polish-speaking newspaper would be eligible to do an internship abroad, for instance in a media organisation in Poland, but also in any other EU Member State.
A media professional residing in Belgium (EU official languages – Dutch, French, and German), working for a Turkish-speaking media would be eligible to do an internship in any EU Member State including Belgium.
Eligible candidates to receive financial support as third parties (see point 11.8 d) under this pilot project are media professionals of any nationality, residing in the European Union, that work for a European media outlet which provides content in a minority language, as defined above. Special priority will be given to media outlets primarily catered for marginalised groups (Roma, refugees and recent immigrants) and minority groups, which may be targeted by propaganda and disinformation. Taking into account possible travel restrictions the media professional will have the possibility to participate in an internship programme in their own country of residence, even though cross-border mobility should be encouraged where possible.
Activities to be covered by the project:
a) Design of the internship project
Elaborate a conceptual implementation scheme for the project, whose flexible structure takes into account the participants’ skills and abilities. Special attention should be paid to the effective integration of the media professional in the hosting organisation, in order to increase the benefits gained from the internship. This will include establishing transparent and consistent selection criteria respecting the objectives and definitions outlined above as well as a high level of geographical balance: no more than 15% of selected applicants should be residents of any single EU Member State.
b) Selection of participants/host organisations
Invite, review and select most qualified/suitable applications based on the selection criteria established and a competitive application process. The selection criteria used when identifying the host organisations shall ensure the selection of organisations having their headquarters in an EU Member State and complying with (i) international professional journalistic standards and codes of ethics and (ii) applicable national rules concerning, in particular, impartiality and accuracy.
c) Logistical support for participants/host organisations
Provide assistance to participants and host organisations. In particular, provide information prior to the internship, e.g. on travel arrangements, finding accommodation and similar logistical matters.
d) Information and communication
Disseminate information about the project among the relevant target audience, through a dedicated website including regular press releases and active use of social media. Prior to the project the aim is to attract the attention of a broad range of media professionals and media outlets. During and after the termination of the project, communication activities through social media platforms need to be carried out. These activities should present the project in a personal, entertaining yet educational manner, focusing on the skills acquired, personal insights, future outlooks for the participants etc.
e) Financial Management
Financial execution and management, including disbursing funding to individual participants, such as a fixed allowance to cover accommodation and subsistence costs and a stipend for freelancers or employed journalists where needed; monitoring spending levels, reviewing evidence that is submitted, financial reporting to the Commission.
f) Monitoring and Evaluation
With a view to ensuring transparency and accountability and in order to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the project, establish processes and tools to evaluate the project, including by ensuring regular feedback from participants and the design of follow-up templates and other relevant materials.
The applicant (organisation) shall describe in detail in his proposal how each of the actions listed in a) – f) above shall be carried out.
This shall comprise a detailed description of all logistical aspects envisaged and a projection of how the applicant intends to ensure maximum outreach of the project within the limited time envisaged. It shall, in addition, comprise a detailed provisional budget for each action listed above.
The present call for proposals
The present call for proposals will select a beneficiary/a consortium to execute the project as outlined above. The territorial coverage of this pilot project shall be the Member States of the EU. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to attract staff members with proven expertise in the media sector.
All activities shall be conducted in an independent manner.
The indicative schedule for the different steps and stages of the selection procedure are as follows:
(a) Publication of the call
15 June 2020
(b) Deadline for submitting applications
Friday 28 August 2020, 23H59 CET
(c) Evaluation period
(d) Information to applicants
(e) Signature of grant agreement(s)
(f) Indicative start date of the project
1st January 2021
The proposed maximum duration of the project is 12 months.
4. BUDGET AVAILABLE
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the project under this call for proposals is estimated at 700.000 EUR (seven hundred thousand euros).
The EU co-financing is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 90% of the total eligible costs.
The Commission expects to fund 1 or 2 proposals.
The Commission reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.
5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
In order to be admissible, applications must be:
sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3;
submitted in writing and in electronic form (pdf) (see section 14), using the application form available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news- redirect/679153 and
drafted in one of the EU official languages1.
Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to rejection of the application.
6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
6.1. Eligible applicants
The call is open to:
A grouping of entities (consortia) – with the entities forming this consortia having or not entities affiliated to them.
Proposals may be submitted by any of the following applicants or combinations of:
a single entity or grouping of entities
non-profit organisation (private or public);
Profit making entities, e.g. media organisations.
Natural persons are not eligible
General notice for UK applicants: In conformity with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement2, the UK and persons or entities established in the UK continue to be eligible to receive Union funds under actions carried out in direct, indirect or shared management, which implement Union programmes and activities committed under the MFF 2014-2020 until the closure of those Union programmes and activities. When restrictions apply, these will be clearly specified in the call for proposals.
Legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, may take part in the action as affiliated entities3, and may declare eligible costs as specified in section 11.2.
For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the application form.
Country of establishment
Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible: EU Member States;
In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested:
Examples of supporting documents (see also section 18.104.22.168.1 of the Vade Mecum):
private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, certificate of liability to VAT (if, as in certain countries, the trade register number and VAT number are identical, only one of these documents is required);
public entity: copy of the resolution, decision or other official document establishing the public-law entity ;
The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals:
6.3 cooperation projects;
Actions aiming at the creation and support of networks, exchanges of good practices and coordination;
financial support to third parties (see point 11.8.d); training activities;
awareness and dissemination actions; Conferences, seminars.
The proposed start date is 1st January 2021.
The proposed maximum duration of the project is 12 months.