The European Collection

European documentaries, reports, and magazines – freely available and free of charge

Five partners, one project: The European Collection is a joint programme by ARTE, ARD, ZDF, France Télévisions and the Schweizerische Radio- und Fernsehgesellschaft SRG SSR that has been available online since the end of 2020.

Its selection of magazines, documentary films, and reports is available free of charge in six languages (German, French, English, Spanish, Italian, and Polish) and can be accessed all over Europe via the five partners’ VOD platforms. Since it was launched, The European Collection has comprised 220 programmes, including many on focus themes such as young people and the environment. The choice of programmes has been growing steadily since April 2022.


See what Matters to People in Europe

How do our European neighbours view the most pressing problems of the day? Which themes matter most to them? Whether it is sustainable development, the situation of young people in Europe, political and social events, or different lifestyle concepts, The European Collection is an invitation to view current affairs through a wide-angle, European lens.

At the European level, the project also seeks to create a European public sphere and to enshrine a digital sovereignty that upholds European values such as democracy, pluralism, and tolerance. The rising demand for programmes with a European perspective and Eurocentric content prompted ARTE to take The European Collection into a second phase of development (April 2022–mid-2023).

The joint catalogue can be viewed on websites, apps, and smart TV all over Europe via the partners’ VOD platforms: and Play Suisse.

A Multilingual News Format

Production of a moderated weekly news round-up from a European perspective

Recent events in Europe and the growing interest in trustworthy news sources prompted ARTE to supplement The European Collection with a second pillar that will help foster media pluralism and pan-European debate.  Building on ARTE Journal, ARTE’s bilingual (French/German) daily news programme, a new weekly format is to be produced in English and Spanish initially and to be made available on starting in the autumn of 2022.

Current Affairs of Concern for Europe

To facilitate its Europe-wide distribution, the project will be undertaken in collaboration with a consortium of six national partners from all over Europe that will integrate the weekly round-up in their online programming: Le Soir (Belgium), Kathimerini (Greece), Internazionale (Italy), Telex (Hungary), El País (Spain) and Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland).

Background and Financing

From the media policy point of view, The European Collection is among the ideas floated at Franco-German level in response to the Treaty of Aachen signed on 22 January 2019, Article 9 of which calls for the establishment of a digital Franco-German platform.

Since April 2022 the project has been financed with funds from the European budget for “multilingual audiovisual news content using European Media platforms”.

The soft launch 2020 was made possible by European co-financing through MEDIA, which is a sub-programme of Creative Europe. In 2021 The European Collection received European funds from the Multimedia Action budget as part of the project Towards a European Public Sphere: Multilingual Programmes from across Europe.