Despite the coordinated efforts of EFA and its member FNP in a regional, national and European level, the Dutch government pushed forward with the plans of merging Omrop Fryslan, the only Frisian language broadcaster in the Netherlands, with other local media due to financial reasons.
More specifically, Omrop Fryslan will now become a part of a so-called "north regional cluster" that will include Drenthe and Groningen as well. Nevertherless, its Frisian desk will remain while a Media Council that should monitor the use of the Frisian language will also be established, after the painstaking efforts of FNP Senator Hendrik ten Hoeve.
Unfortunately, his proposal to spare Omrop Fryslan from these consolidation measures due to its special status could not get adequate support in the Dutch Senate.
"It is shameful that the authorities in the Netherlands wrap up a decision taking away the autonomy of the only broadcaster for the Frisian speaking community, as an efficiency measure, saving money. So many studies show the economic advantages of being multilingual. The tendency in the Netherlands towards even more centralization while retracting more from EU integration is very worrying.", commented EFA Director Gunther Dauwen.
Back in autumn 2015, when the initial plans of the Dutch government were announced, EFA and FNP had started the campaign #OurLanguageOurMedia to protect the independence of Omrop Fryslan. A parliamentary question, asking the European Commission to protect the broadcaster's special character and secure its financing, was also tabled by EFA MEPs Josep-Maria Terricabras and Jill Evans.