I’ve been having a look at Europarl TV, launched yesterday with a bit of fanfare in Brussels. I was not at the launch so I didn’t profit from a few glasses of wine to temper my views on the project. I instead watched a bit of the news show this morning and while the technology is smooth enough the content of the first item on the ‘news’ was so skewed it was untrue. It was a piece about what to do about the roof of the EP in Strasbourg having fallen in (for more on that see this post), and as a consequence whether the EP should be just based in Brussels.

The only MEPs featured in the report were French – Gérard Onesta (Greens) at least mentioned the environmental impact of running 2 buildings, but Joseph Daul (EPP) basically declined to acknowledge there was any problem with Strasbourg, and even had a go at the quality of the Brussels hemicycle. Daul is, you guessed it, from Alsace… Where were the MEPs opposed to Strasbourg?

The Europarl TV editorial charter states “The channel shall ensure that the plurality of opinion in the European Parliament is reflected, with due respect to the relative strengths of the political groups, in accordance with a neutral, non-partisan editorial policy.” Really? Seems they are off to a bad start.


  1. Got to say I like the sub-Euronews whooshy music that introduces each section even if I’ve not had the patience to watch a whole six minute item…

  2. Giacomo

    Personally I do not find it so bad. Maybe that specific video was not so good and neutral, but I have watched other videos and I didn’t find them so bad.

    I hope that day by day the quality will grow and a much wider range of opinions will be well represented.

    Anyway I think it is a very good start point: it is the first time someone try to create a TV broadcasting multi-language content through and about Europe. If this will become an example which other media enterprises will follow we’ll be able to have a space for the growing of an European public opinion on an European level and not only at a national one.

  3. The question is: Are these interviews done by request of the parliamentarians or on the initiative of Euparltv? In other words, are the parliamentarians starting to use their broadcasting service to spread their message, or is the web TV trying to pass its “own” message?

  4. Jon,

    The new channel seems to be as credible as a press conference launched on-line, which means that it may offer some facts and viewpoints (represented proportionally) to serve as raw material for real journalists, including bloggers.

    But the Council – the most powerful institution – is going to continue to be the real black hole in EU communications, transparency, openness and accountability as long as the union is based primarily on member states instead of its citizens.

  5. You are right with this specific story. I think that the EP will have a hard time in the coming months with regard to the editorial neutrality.

    But I hope that this will not be the only debate that it stimulates but also one that is the about topics discussed in the EP. I think that the TV project can have a real impact. In the end, controversy can only be good for Brussels.

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