The European Union supports a new project to upscale support to existing and established independent Russian and Belarusian media working in the EU and that maintain significant audiences back home.
The Free Media Hub EAST project,led by the Prague Civil Society Centre, is set to award over €2.2 million in grants, provide assistance and psychological support, invest in technological solutions and strengthen cooperation between local hubs where these exiled media are located in the EU (mainly Czechia, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania).
Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “Many brave Russian independent journalists are taking great risks to continue their work, and have no choice but to do it in the European Union. To fight the Kremlin’s war propaganda, we need independent media telling the truth about Russia. And we need to support them. It is our moral duty and in our strategic interest. Today’s new project is part of these efforts. It brings together civil society organisations with great expertise in supporting those striving for freedom of expression and democracy.”
Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Russian independent media and civil society play an important role in ensuring the continued flow of factual information to Russian-speaking audiences and countering Russian state disinformation. By supporting the production and dissemination of independent content produced without any editorial interference, this project will contribute to our efforts to fight Russian propaganda”.
The Free Media Hub EAST pilot project is the result of a call for proposals launched in April 2023. It is part of wider efforts to defend EU values in the time of the war, as well as to support independent media in the EU and beyond.