The European Court of Auditors has raised concerns about the oversight of millions of euros that the European Commission has spent on the broadcaster Euronews, reports Politico.
Between 2014 and 2018, the Commission spent €122 million on the channel, which is about one third of the total turnover of the channel. Euronews’ geographic and linguistic coverage “could not be maintained without this EU support,” the auditors wrote.
The auditors looked into the EU’s relationship with Euronews following a request from the European Parliament “to examine if the funding to Euronews is carried out in an efficient and transparent way and solely used to fulfil the mandate given to Euronews.”
In its review, the Court of Auditors noted EU citizens’ lack of access to Euronews, despite the fact that taxpayer money went into the channel.
“No EU Member State has accorded Euronews a public service mandate or considered it as a public service broadcaster, meaning they do not provide it with any direct funding,” the auditors wrote, adding that “Euronews is therefore not accessible to most or all citizens in the European Union.”
“The EU provides a major source of revenues to a TV channel that is mostly privately owned,” said Mihails Kozlovs, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the review. “The European Commission should verify annually if Euronews complies with the commitments on preserving its editorial impartiality and a European perspective. But we found no formal link between these commitments and the Commission’s criteria for annually awarding the funds.”
The full audit can be downloaded here.