Jacques Delmoly, who has headed the European Union's MEDIA Programme unit since 1995, is to leave his post at the end of March.

He will take up a new role as the head of the European Commission's LINGUA project which promotes foreign language learning via the Internet.

Delmoly's exit from the MEDIA unit comes in the wake of the European Commission's administrative reforms which require senior officials in financially sensitive positions to move around within the Commission to another position after five years.

"Out of eight heads of unit, six have been switched around as part of these reforms", said Nils Koch, MEDIA Desks coordinator and responsible for information at the MEDIA Programme's headquarters in Brussels. "This is something that is happening through the whole of the Commission," he explained.

Delmoly's successor starting on April 1 will be Alain Dumort who has been the head of the communication and youth department at the Education and Culture Directorate General.

The EU's current MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training Programmes, which have run since Jan 2001 and continue until Dec 2006, have a budget of $504m with a brief to make TV, film and new media companies more competitive internally while trying to boost the international reach of audiovisual productions. A new support programme for 2007-2013 is under discussion.