Several partners have come together on the initiative of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) to jointly develop the EU-funded Migration Media Award, announced on 25 January 2017 under the auspices of Malta’s EU presidency.

The award competition is a collaboration of the EU-funded projects Euromed Migration IV and the Open Media Hub, in partnership with the European Asylum Support Office and Malta’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion.

> DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

The mission of DG NEAR is to take forward the EU's neighbourhood and enlargement policies. By implementing assistance actions in Europe's eastern and southern neighbourhood, DG NEAR supports reform and democratic consolidation, and strengthens the prosperity, stability and security around Europe.

In the enlargement area, DG NEAR assists countries with a perspective to join the EU in meeting the criteria defined by the Treaty of European Union and the European Council.

The EU's relations with the 16 Eastern and Southern Neighbors (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria  and TunisiaArmenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) is governed by the European neighbourhood Policy (ENP), launched in 2003 and reviewed in 2011.

Under the revised ENP, migration has become a central feature of the neighbourhood policy with a view to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with neighbourhood countries on migration for a comprehensive migration management. The ENP together with the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, the European Agenda on Migration and the Valletta Summit Declaration represent the policy framework outlining the migration priorities to be addressed in cooperation with neighbourhood Countries and jointly with the EU MS.

DG NEAR manages the bulk of the Union’s financial and technical assistance to the neighbourhood and enlargement countries.

Along with the standard assistance, DG NEAR also manages ad-hoc financial tools, created to respond to the challenges linked to the management of migration and the refugee crisis, such as The Emergency Trust Fund addressing root cause of irregular migration and forced displacement in Africa (with a focus on the North of Africa Countries), the Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.

> Euromed Migration IV

EUROMED Migration IV (EMM4) is a project funded by the European Union (EU), steered by the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). EMM4 aims to reach a balanced approach to migration policy-making by facilitating open and constructive dialogue and cooperation between EU Member States and ENI South Partner Countries (SPC) on challenges and opportunities, and rights and responsibilities of all concerned. It operates within the framework of instrumental guiding frameworks such as the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility.

Shaped by the results of the previous phase (2012-15), EMM4’s horizontal activities emphasise communication and regional actions to disseminate a more positive narrative on migration. The European Agenda on Migration, identifying the priorities and the relative challenges to be addressed jointly with the EU Member States, highlights the importance of building a ‘coherent and comprehensive approach’ to address the narrative of migration and highlights that misguided and stereotyped narratives often tend to focus only on certain types of flows, overlooking the inherent complexity of this phenomenon, which impacts society in many different ways and calls for a variety of responses.

EMM4 has developed the idea of the Migration Media Award as a first activity related to its core activities and overall approach described above.

> The Open Media Hub, led by the Thomson Foundation

The Open Media Hub (OMH) is the biggest “media development” programme in all EU Neighbourhood countries and is funded by the EU’s DG NEAR. Mainly through skills transfer, its objective is to foster independent journalism and quality programming, increase awareness on the EU in the Neighbourhood and on the Neighbourhood in the EU’s media by enabling participating media outlets to share and access produced stories on its Content Sharing Platform. It has defined migration as one of its main topics to be covered in production-led training sessions and support schemes. Its Calls for Expression of Interest for production support will be involved in two aspects: first of all, beneficiaries from its Call can submit their subsidised production as entry and proposal for a subsequent story to the Migration Media Award competition. Secondly, the winners of the Migration award will see their subsequent production financed and mentored under the OMH Call.

The OMH will play a very strong role in ensuring global dissemination and outreach of the winning entries through its Content Sharing Platform and redistribution contract with Associated Press AP. OMH supported production is eligible to apply to the award with previously subsidised content which has been published. This enables easy identification of previous production under the project.

> The European Asylum Support Office EASO

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) is the agency of the European Union playing a key role in the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). It fosters greater cooperation with and between Member States and provides the necessary support in order to translate into practice the core values of the CEAS, equity and fairness, and to ensure that individual asylum cases are dealt with in a coherent way by all Member States.

From this perspective, as an important actor of European solidarity, joining as a key partner the media award competition fits into EASO’s media outreach and engagement to support the authentic narrative about migration, to bring facts and reality in the spotlight.

In concrete terms, EASO’s support and involvement in the Media Award initiative will consist in providing its expertise, promoting the award via EASO’s website and social media, and contributing to the development of communication materials.

Also, EASO will publicise the award to important press outlets and media contacts, acting in the migration and home affairs domain, and it will be represented in the Steering Group.

> Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion

Malta has defined migration as one of the main priorities of its Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017. Indeed, migration is at the heart of Malta’s Foreign Policy objectives and Malta has over the past years been at the forefront in seeking to raise the topic in European and international fora, with the aim of seeking more regional and global solidarity and in seeking to raise awareness of the challenges that migration brings about.

In this regard, the Ministry supports the objectives of the Migration Media Award in seeking to promote more balanced journalism that is based on facts and is ready to participate in the Migration Media Award by providing its patronage, including the necessary political visibility and background support.

> The European Investment Bank (EIB)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond.