On December 20 Presseurop is scheduled to close down. Our contract with the European Commission, which finances the website, is due to end on this date and the Directorate General for Communications, headed by Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, has informed us that it does not intend to continue the project, citing budgetary reasons.
This is despite the European Parliament voting for an increase in the EU’s 2014 budget so that the Commission would have additional resources to finance media projects, including Presseurop. The Commission apparently prefers to use the funds for other initiatives. Deprived of this funding, we will be forced to close.
Since it was launched, at the Commission’s initiative in 2009, Presseurop has earned itself a reputation as a leading independent European Union news website. Each day, our readers can find the best of the European and international press translated into 10 languages. They can also share and comment on the articles posted. A community was thus created – a true embryo of European citizenship – allowing debate about Europe on our unique multilingual discussion platform. For the newspapers, and for the journalists, intellectuals and experts – more than 1,700 to date – whose articles we have published, Presseurop is a way to reach audiences beyond their linguistic borders.
We deeply regret that just a few months ahead of European elections that will be crucial for the future of the EU and despite being greatly valued by readers and journalists, the European Commission wants to halt this experiment. An independent review ordered by the Commission gave a glowing assessment of Presseurop and encouraged the continuation of the project. But the Commission has chosen to follow a different path – one that deprives European citizens of a precious tool enabling them to participate in the EU’s democratic life.
This shared space must not disappear. Without you we could not have accomplished what we have. You can support us by relaying this appeal and calling for the European Commission to continue its support of Presseurop in 2014.
Update: If you would like Presseurop to live on, sign the online petition.