On 12th May, the European Commission's Press and Communications Directorate launched a major call for proposals from EU broadcasters and producers aimed at raising awareness of the European Union's activities. 16 million Euros will be available in co-financing. The announcement says "We are looking for dynamic programmes which will stimulate the interest of the general public. The programmes can be short, long, one-off, series, documentaries, infotainment, edutainment, game shows, magazines, fact or fiction, passive or interactive".

The main objective is to demonstrate that the policies of the EU are not distant or alien, and that they have a positive impact on citizens' daily lives.

The call is for programme ideas in three broad categories.

1. Enlargement. At least 2 EU member states, or 2 regions in 2 member states, must be involved in each project, though broadcasters in the accession countries can be associate partners (the number of member states should exceed the number of new member states) Programmes should be broadcast between August 2003 and December 2004. A fund of 4 million euros has been allocated to this subject.

2. The Future of Europe (relating to the Convention which is currently debating a draft constitution and other matters). Programmes can be shown in just one EU country, but must each a 'significant audience' Can work with an accession country partner. Broadcasting should take place between December 2003 and end of May 2004. 4 million euros allocated.

3. General Information about the EU. Again, programmes can be shown in just one EU country, or several, with possible partners in accession countries and in third countries. Programmes should be broadcast between December 2003 and December 2004. 8.5 million Euros will be available.

Subventions for TV projects will be between 100,000 and 300,000 Euros per project. For Radio they will be between 25,000 and 75,000 Euros.

Priority will be given to broadcasts scheduled in prime time reaching the largest possible audiences.

Applications for category one - Enlargement - must be submitted by the end of June. The deadline for other proposals is mid-September.

The call for proposal material is available at:

The EC Director of Communications, Niels Jorgen Thogerson is expected to be a speaker at the Circom 21st annual conference in Grado and will be able to give delegates more details of this co-financing initiative.