Delegation from the Basque Country visits Yr Egin


01.03.2019

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was pleased to welcome members of the Basque Country Parliament to the Carmarthen campus and Canolfan S4C Yr Egin this week.

The visit was part of a cross-party delegation by the Culture Committee as part of its review into public service broadcasting in the Basque Country.  The delegation included Leixuri Arrizabalaga, committee chair, Jasone Agirre, Ana Oregi, Gloria Sánchez, Nerea Llanos a Zelai Nikolas, committee clerk.

Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at UWTSD said: “It was great to welcome the delegation to the University and Yr Egin and having the opportunity to share the vision of attracting a public broadcaster such as S4C to relocate with other companies within the creative industries. The fact that Yr Egin has established itself as a centre for the creative industries in such a short period of time demonstrates how eager companies and the public are to be part of the development”.  

The visit was organised by Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones and included meetings with S4C, BBC, TAC, Ofcom, Tinopolis, campaigners and specialists as well as the Welsh Government, and the Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Bethan Sayed AM in the Senedd in Cardiff.

Elin said:“ Developing the relationship further between Wales and the Basque Country brings great advantages to both countries.  In fact there’s no better comparison to the situation of the Welsh language.  We are similar in many ways. Both countries have similar populations – around 3 million – together with unique languages, Welsh and Basque, which co-exist alongside some of the world's largest languages. So as the Basques review their media they chose to come to Wales to look for new ideas and see what lessons they can learn from our experience here.”

During the meetings, the delegation discussed several aspects of the media, including the creation of new online content in the Welsh language, reaching audiences of all ages and all backgrounds, the role of the media in encouraging greater use and knowledge of the language Welsh in all parts of Wales as well as the importance of the media in developing the economy in different areas. Members also considered the issues of governance, funding, the relationship between broadcasters and each other, the promotion of democracy, and the different levels of government and parliaments in Wales and the United Kingdom.

A memorandum of understanding between the Welsh Government and the Basque Government was signed in January 2018.

The Broadcasting Corporation in the Basque Country was founded in 1982 in the early days of devolution there. The corporation has four television channels – ETB1 which broadcasts a full schedule in the Basque language, ETB3 which is a children's channel in the language, then ETB2 which broadcasts in Spanish and ETB4 which broadcasts content in both languages. It also broadcasts radio – and they have four stations – two in each language, including Euskadi Irratia, a general Basque language radio station together with Gaztea which is a radio station for young people in the Basque language.