The EU-funded Media Neighbourhood project is looking to recruit at least 50 journalists with a senior editorial background from across the EU’s Neighbourhood, east and south, to act as mentors, playing a key role in the implementation of the project.
Media Neighbourhood is a three-year journalist training programme funded by the European Union and delivered by a consortium led by BBC Media Action in Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Russia, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
The programme aims to strengthen the professional capacity of journalists, particularly in the areas of media independence and online media, and to improve the reporting of EU policies within the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Training will be through workshops held in these countries and led by senior journalists and highly experienced trainers from the BBC, AFP and the other international media organisations in the consortium.
The mentors, drawn from a senior editorial background in broadcast/print or online media, will have a very important role to play in the project. Training will be provided to them in all the elements below. The duties of mentors are:
- To oversee the continuing learning of up to 10 trainees a year who have taken part in a Media Action training course. This will include being available for help and advice, encouraging them to participate in the network, and giving them feedback on the pieces they produce.
- To stimulate and encourage debate and comment on the social media networks used by the project
- To help trainees put their pieces/stories up on the Media Neighbourhood website
- To ensure that the issues facing your country and its relationship with the EU are represented on the Media Neighbourhood website
- To be a first point of contact for the Media Neighbourhood project in your country
- To help build a network of journalists across the Middle East and Eastern Europe to share information, stories and experience
- To help build a network of contacts in your own country and across the countries of the project which will be of use to everyone
- To help the trainers select trainees for the programme
- To help publicise the programme to your colleagues and peers
Mentors will be provided with opportunities to develop their own skills and career through this programme.
- A five-day Mentor course, which will cover an introduction to the Media Neighbourhood programme, training and mentoring, information about the European Neighbourhood, media ethics and sustainability, and a production element.
- A two-day Study Tour to Brussels. Mentors will be offered the opportunity to travel to Brussels to visit the key European Institutions and to meet fellow journalists working in the field.
- Mentors will be invited to all training events within their country and will be notified of all regional events.
Candidates must be senior journalists/editors from a Broadcast/Print or Online background, with at least 5 years’ experience of hands-on journalism and at least two years’ experience at a senior level. They must be able to speak ONE of these languages: Russian or Arabic or English or French.
The main drive for applications will be from May-August 2012 but there will continue to be applications throughout the project.
Media Neighbourhood is one of three projects funded under the EU’s Regional Information and Communication Programme. The other two projects are:
- Information support campaign EU Neighbourhood Info Centre (www.enpi-info.eu) focused on information production and dissemination and communications support;
- Analysis tools conducting media monitoring and opinion surveys.
Eastern Partnership Culture Programme: regional co-operation project launched for development of cultural heritage
The Regional Co-operation for Cultural Heritage Development Project has been officially launched in Yerevan in Armenia. The project is being run as part of the EU-funded Eastern Partnership Culture Programme.
The project is being implemented in Georgia, Ukraine and Armenia and entails cooperation with all six countries of the Eastern Partnership.
Its aim is to improve the heritage management environment, and to achieve better governance of the heritage sector in the Eastern Partnership region by developing regional cooperation for cultural heritage development. The initiative is also expected to integrate cultural heritage and economic development as well as its sustainable protection in the countries involved. There are four specific objectives:
- Development of national policy for heritage;
- Capacity building of heritage sector stakeholders with the aim of enhancing the role of heritage in sustainable economic development;
- Promotion of regional co-operation and exchange of experience within the Eastern Partnership region and between the region and EU countries; and
- Support for civil society involvement in the planning and decision-making processes.
The €12 million Eastern Partnership Culture Programme aims at assisting partner countries in their cultural policy reforms at government level as well as capacity building and improving the professionalism of cultural operators in the region. It seeks to strengthen regional cultural links and dialogue within the Eastern Partnership region, and between the EU and ENP East countries’ cultural networks and actors. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
The Statement of the Ukrainian Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Regarding the Implementation of State Anti-Corruption Policy in Ukraine
The members of Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum are deeply concerned about the critical situation regarding the scale of corruption in Ukraine and its impact on social processes. Thus, in 2011 68 % of Ukrainian citizens were involved into corruption-related activities, though they admitted corruption is one of three most important problems of the state.
The Ukrainian bill “On Prevention and Counteraction to Corruption” which was adopted in 2011 was positively assessed by the Council of Europe and other international anti-corruption organizations and gives hope to the comprehensive modernization of state anti-corruption policy. Ukrainian National Platform welcomes the efforts of Viktor Yanukovych aimed at approval of National Anti-Corruption Strategy in 2011-2015, as well as at strengthening the role of National Anti-Corruption Committee, President of Ukraine, and appointment of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to the coordinator of state anti-corruption policy. These steps along with the national action plan on fighting corruption could lay the ground for implementation of anti-corruption reforms which are needed for Ukraine’s presence in the club of integral and economically developed European states.
Besides, National Platform is worried about a number of steps taken for the implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
- National plan of Ukraine regarding the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization for Ukraine by European Union in 2011 and an order of the President of Ukraine “On the Primary Actions for the Implementation of the bill “On Prevention and Counteraction to Corruption” envisaged the establishment of independent central authority body, which had to be responsible for the coordination of national anti-corruption policy. In return, as of March 27, 2012 such a body doesn’t exist in Ukraine and previously announced draft law on this topic was not submitted for consideration by the parliament.
- The implementation of State Programme on Prevention and Counteraction to Corruption (2011-2015), adopted in November, 2011 in accordance with National Anti-Corruption Strategy, is under threat of termination due to the absence of necessary resources for its implementation. In particular, it has already caused the delay for uncertain time of a single web-portal of administrative services operation by the Ministry for Economic Development.
- The creation of the single register of persons who committed corruption-related offenses is considered to be a progressive step aimed at implementation of effective control of unfair civil servants. Though, the constraints inherent in the bill “On Personal Data Protection” virtually level the importance of the register and negatively influence the way public perceives the authorities’ efforts in fighting corruption.
- The statements on conflict of interests and declaration of property, assets, and expenses of civil servants, included into the new anti-corruption legislature, should be welcomed and supported with all the possible measures. In return, the decision of Constitutional Court of Ukraine concerning the case # 1-14/2012 on 13.03.2012 levels the meaning of the above mentioned law and negates the concept of conflict of interests and the openness of data on the financial status of public servants.
Taking into consideration the above mentioned, the members of Ukrainian National Platform of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum address the President of Ukraine as an author and coordinator of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy with the following demands:
- To submit as a pressing one the draft law on the specifically empowered state authority responsible for coordination of state anti-corruption policy for the consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;
- to charge the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to revise the scope and the sources of funding of the State Programme on Prevention and Counteraction to Corruption in 2011-2015;
- to charge the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to elaborate the amendments to the Ukrainian bill “On Personal Data Protection” concerning the guaranteeing of the openness of data included in the Single register of the persons who committed corruption-related offenses;
- to take under personal control the process of concomitance of the bill on conflict of interests and the foundations of ethical behavior of civil servants in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
If the President’s team does not make allowances to these recommendations, the comprehensive implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy is threatened. This, in turn, alienates Ukraine from efficient anti-corruption reforms and the perspectives of membership in the European community.