Cyprus has become the 25th member of the European Union's MEDIA Programme following the Slovak Republic which signed its association agreement on January 10. Both agreements have been back-dated to January 1, 2003.

While the Slovak Republic has committed to pay Euross 160,000 annually as its financial contribution towards the MEDIA budget, Cyprus will be paying Euros 240,000 each year towards the financing of the audiovisual programme's activities.

Slovenia is expected to join later in 2003, but Hungary is unlikely to become a member in the near future.

According to MEDIA Programme unit chief Jacques Delmoly, 'the European Parliament decision on MEDIA Plus says that the Television Without Frontiers directive has to be incorporated [into the media legislation] before being able to join MEDIA, but Hungary has said that it will enforce the directive only when they access the Union.'