Launch of TV and radio programmes for Belarus on 26th February 2006

New EU-financed TV and radio broadcasting programmes for Belarus will start on 26 February 2006. They are part of a wider €2 million project that will cover internet, support to the Belarusian written press and training of journalists, in addition to radio and TV broadcasts (see IP/06/86). The objective of this project is to increase access to independent news and information across the whole of the country.

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “Tight controls on the media in Belarus make it hard for Belarusians to find independent sources of information. I look forward to the day when Belarus will have its own free media, because this is crucial to the functioning of a democracy. In the meantime, I believe the new radio and TV programmes will raise awareness of developments in the country and help Belarusians better understand their neighbours in the EU”.

She added “Diversity of the media is important. I welcome the launch of Radio Racja, the new Polish project to bring independent broadcasting to Belarus. The more sources of independent information the better” .

EU-funded programmes in the new project will include:

RADIO - A daily 60-minute radio information magazine “Window to Europe” each morning in peak time in Belarusian and Russian by European Radio for Belarus, and Radio Baltic Wave. This is designed to appeal to a broad cross section of Belarusian society with particular attention paid to the young people. The magazine will present news features and reports from Europe and Belarus, as well as music entertainment with artists from Europe and Belarus. The news part of the magazine will cover topical political, economic and cultural events including sport, news and weather. Interactive phone-ins will also soon allow listeners to communicate with the studio team.

In addition, four live programmes will be specifically dedicated to the Belarusian Presidential Elections of 19 March 2006, featuring debates with election observers, journalists, candidates and NGO representatives.

‘Window to Europe’ will initially be available on:

AM: 612 kHz

Satellite: 11013 Mhz

Internet: (active from 26 February 2006)

TV - The independent Russian channel, RTVi will broadcast a weekly half hour magazine-style programme, “Window to Europe”, starting on Sunday, 26 February at 1700 (Belarus time) in Belarusian and Russian languages: Four weekly re-runs will be broadcast from Monday to Thursday. The programme is designed to appeal to the Belarusian audience. It will cover cultural, social, political, historical and economic aspects of Belarus itself, help raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of the EU, and increase familiarity with the 25 member states, presenting a broad picture of the EU family. The magazine will include video reports and studio discussion.

In addition to the weekly magazine, two live special election shows are being produced to give an independent view of the Belarusian Presidential elections on 19 March 2006. These shows will involve Belarusian, Russian and EU experts including election observers, journalists, candidates, and representatives of NGOs.

The programmes will be available on cable and satellite.

The new TV and radio broadcasts follow a smaller (€138,000) broadcasting project already underway, implemented by Deutsche Welle.

For further information see:

IP/05/1063: Commission to support independent broadcasting in Belarus

IP/06/86: New EU broadcasting initiative for Belarus.

For more information on the project:  (active from 26 February 2006)

For more information on the EU’s relations with Belarus see: