The governments of Spain, Italy and France have asked the European Commission to launch an Arabic version of the European television channel EuroNews so that Muslim countries can learn more about life and politics in the European Union.
The three countries formulated the request in a letter to EU’s executive body that was delivered by the Spanish European affairs minister Alberto Navarro and the European affairs ministers of Italy and France, Emma Bonino and Catherine Colonna, to the European external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and communication strategy commissioner Margot Wallstrom.
Quoting government sources, the Spanish daily El Pais reported that the EuroNews channel in Arabic would be “the most efficient means of objective and continuous information for Muslims. While Arab TV channels broadcast in our countries in some European languages, the weak offer in the opposite direction is striking”.
The letter also underlined the fact that the European Parliament voted for an increase of €5 million in the 2007 budget for multimedia initiatives with the Mediterranean countries.