Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission
The Commission's service contract with Ma'an Network entitled ‘Maximising EU presence in the ENP(1) and beneficiary countries’ ended in 2010. Under this contract Ma'an Network completed six media actions promoting EU activities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The final report of the contract was submitted in April 2010 and is attached.
In 2011, the Commission awarded a EUR 288 290 grant to Ma'an Network under the framework of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. The project entitled ‘Mobilising Media to Empower Citizens and Civil Society for Human Rights, Democratic Reform, and Intra-Palestinian Reconciliation’ focuses on improving press freedom, access to information and awareness of human rights issues in the oPt. The project is ongoing.
The EU does not provide global funding to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) but awards grants supporting specific projects and well-defined actions.
The EU is respectful of freedom of expression as a key feature of a democratic society. At the same time, the EU is firmly committed to the fight against incitement to hatred between ethnic or religious groups as well as to the expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia, and will continue fighting these deplorable phenomena.