Online Media Networks to Challenge Public Ignorance over European Affairs

“Quality information is the key to defeating public apathy over the future of Europe”, says Aidan White, the General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists, which today welcomed the expansion of an online network designed to give journalists and opinion formers access to expert and informed information about European affairs.


The addition of an information portal based in Turkey means there is now a network of seven national media sites designed to provide a better flow of facts and opinions about European public affairs.


“The non-voting silent majority in the recent European Parliament elections exposed the apathy that reigns around Europe over the European Union,” said Marc Gruber, EFJ Communication co-ordinator. “This network will give journalists the opportunity to fill the gaps in the public information space that have undermined public confidence.”


Within the CrossLingual project, EurActiv's content in three languages (English, French, German) is available for syndication to "EU Actors"' websites and intranets. Central and Eastern European partners have also started translating and localising EurActiv news for their national audiences. Seven portal sites are published by local media in national languages. This week Zaman has become EurActiv’s seventh national partner, in Turkey. This will contribute to the debate and to the possible opening of negotiations with Turkey, a major policy issue for 2004. The ‘CrossLingual’ scheme is co-funded by the European Commission, in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the IT companies Systran and Telelingua.


Christophe Leclercq, Publisher of EurActiv, said: “The poor EP election turnout in Central Europe shows that, despite enlargement information campaigns, national opinion leaders are not sufficiently engaged in EU policy debates. On the other hand, the first readership figures of our franchised portals are above expectations. So there is a demand for a lot more information about ‘decisions from Brussels’. Our national media partners deserve support in order to contribute to this democratic process.”


EurActiv.com’s seven CrossLingual network partners are in Turkey, in the Czech Republic, in Hungary, in Slovakia, in Romania, in Bulgaria, and in Slovenia. eurActiv.com expects to conclude soon a similar co-operation agreement with a media in Poland.


Further information: EFJ : + 32 2 235 22 00

The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in Europe


EurActiv: +32 2 226 58 10

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