At the initiative of Estonian MEP Yana Toom (Center/ALDE), the EU will pay for the foreign traineeships of journalists who work in media reporting in the languages of national minorities, including Russian.
The traineeships will take place at the editorial offices of "Europe's best newspapers, television channels, and radio channels". Half a million euros has been set aside for this in the EU budget, an adviser of Toom's told BNS on Friday.
"MEPs can submit amendments to Europe's general budget in order to ensure the allocation of funds for projects developed by them," Toom herself said. "During the preparatory period it is important to receive a high assessment from the European Commission, who will handle the implementation of the projects later on. It is also important to persuade most of the colleagues in the profile committee of the necessity and timeliness of the initiative. The MEPs submit hundreds of amendment proposals, most of which are rejected in the final vote. I'm glad that everything went well in the end and my proposal to support the journalists was approved."
The idea for the project goes back to a seminar held in November 2014 that was attended by representatives of leading Estonian Russian-language media. Journalists will now be able to do a traineeship of up to four months in a foreign country, with their travel and accommodation costs covered out of the EU's budget. The only condition set for the participants is to follow the declaration adopted by the International Federation of Journalists concerning principles of professional behavior.
"A lot of people in the EU got carried away in the fight against propaganda, at the same time they themselves changed over to the primitive language of the propagandists and agitators. It seems that many people have begun to forget that the good reputation of European journalism developed thanks to high professional standards. Russian-language journalists from Estonia in the framework of this project will also receive valuable knowledge and raise their qualification by working at the editorial offices of leading European media outlets. It was confirmed to us at the European Commission that preparations for the implementation of the project should begin already in March," Toom said.
The commission will assess the project's success, and if the result is positive, it will continue. The pan-European student exchange program Erasmus had started in the same way, Toom's adviser said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn