The Belgian EU presidency for Media programme
From January 1 to June 30, 2024, Belgium is, even more so than usual, the beating heart of the EU. This generates a lot of additional international attention and is an excellent opportunity to showcase the Belgian expertise. As presidency, we are not only responsible for maintaining the continuity of the EU agenda and ensuring good cooperation between the member states, while also having the chance to emphasize our own priorities.
The media priorities during the Belgian presidency are:
- Completing the European Media Freedom Act.
- Facilitating knowledge exchange on digital transformation of media and media innovation.
- Promoting support for online content creators and influencers.
What is Flanders’ role in the Belgian EU presidency Media programme? Read all about it.
The Culture Council
EU ministers responsible for Audiovisual Affairs and Media come together during the Culture Council. An important dossier that will be addressed here is the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). Media freedom and pluralism are essential for democracy and are therefore fundamental values of the EU. To strenghten media freedom, the European Commission put forward a proposal for EMFA in 2022. Flanders will lead the team of the Belgian Presidency with the aim of finalizing the work on this file.
In addition to continuing the ongoing European agenda, as the chair, we will also propose council conclusions on 'supporting influencers and online content creators'. Unlike legislation, council conclusions are not legally binding, but they represent the position of the member states on a specific theme. Therefore, following debates among the member states, the Council takes a political stance on a subject or issue.
The subject of 'supporting influencers and online content creators' is a theme on which Flanders has already made significant strides with the launch of the influencerFAQ. Today, influencers and online content creators are still primarily viewed from an economic and commercial standpoint, while their influence on our society and specifically on young people extends much further. By placing this theme on the European agenda, the Belgian presidency aims to draw attention to this broader impact and take the first steps in supporting influencers and online content creators in this broad role.
Content with conscience. Conference on the support of Influencers and Online Content Creators – February 27, 2024
On February 27th, the Belgian presidency organises a conference in Brussels on influencers and online content creators. With a diverse programme featuring engaging speakers and panels, experts and policymakers will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in this fascinating and relevant topic.
Underlying the event are two questions: what is the broad role of influencers and online content creators in the media landscape and how can this group be supported in this role? Not only experts will shed their light on this, but influencers from different EU member states will also come to speak themselves and share their experiences and needs. Topics will include the role of influencers in the media landscape, online hate speech and cyberbullying, disinformation, the mental well-being of creators and their followers, advertisers and responsible influencing, child influencers and sharenting, a possible ethical code for influencers, the role of platforms and showcases as examples of support.
The conference will be organised in order to support the work in the Culture Council, and more specifically the council conclusions with regard to supporting influencers and online content creators.
Media Innovation Xchange. Conference on Digital Transformation and Media Innovation – March 13 to 14, 2024
The media sector is constantly changing. The rapid rise of the many technological innovations brings significant opportunities, but also unprecedented challenges. On 13 and 14 March 2024, the Belgian Presidency will be hosting a conference in Brussels which will delve deeper into digital transformation and innovation of the media sector. Policymakers and experts from both Belgium and other EU member states will have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise, gain inspiration and establish international contacts.
The objective of the conference will be to explore and implement the opportunities and challenges relating to digital transformation and innovation in the media sector, together with experts and policymakers. Topics will include artificial intelligence, disinformation, video gaming, data and the digitalisation of traditional media. Accordingly, as the Belgian Presidency, we aim to strengthen the European media sector in terms of innovation and digitalisation and contribute to the future European media policy.