Question to the Commission for written answer
It has been reported in the press that the Commission paid the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) the sum of EUR 6 100 987 (GBP 4 854 039), in addition to the total of EUR 24.4 million (GBP 19 million) paid by the EU in grants to the BBC between 2007 and 2012.1 Could the Commission clarify this claim, and provide details of the purpose for which these grants were made and the thematic programme heading they fell under?
1 See: ‘Revealed: EU Hands Out Multi-Millions to the BBC and Green Lobby’, www.breitbart.com, 8 July 2014.
Answer given by Mr Dominik on behalf of the Commission
In 2013 the BBC received three payments from European Union funding relating to supporting media freedom in countries outside the European Union.
– Under the the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument it was awarded a service contract of EUR 4.975.000 to train journalists and support media independence and freedom of expression in the region. A grant to the amount of EUR 1,125,986.68 implementing the 2009 Iraq Capacity Building Programme aims at consolidating media freedoms in Iraq. Finally, alongside other recipients the BBC was granted EUR 643.164 from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights Country Based Support Schemes (CBSS) for Syria, the objective being to strengthen the professional capacity of Syrian journalists, particularly in the areas of media independence and online media.
In addition, also in 2013 the BBC received an amount of EUR 584.374 for its part in a research project improving video quality, and an amount of EUR 5.059 for miscellaneous services supplied in accordance with the Commission’s public procurement rules.
The Commission would like to remind the Honourable Member that, in line with the Financial Regulation1 and its Rules of Application2, the above information, including the purpose of the grant and the programme, is freely available on the Financial Transparency Website (FTS)3.
Similar information is available in FTS as from financial year 2007. Please note that the names recorded and published in FTS are those originating from official documents submitted by the recipient. This formal name may differ from the one known to the general public.
1 Article 35 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012.)
2 Article 21 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 (OJ L 362, 31.12.2012.)