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Statutes of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA)

posted on 09 November, 2011 11:07 , last updated on 28 March, 2012 07:50   (public)

As modified at the Ohrid meeting on 26 May 2011

Preamble

The European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (hereafter referred to as the EPRA) was set up in April 1995 in Malta.

These statutes are established between:
EPRA members hereafter referred as "Members"

It is agreed that:

Article 1
Aims of the EPRA

§1 The EPRA is an independent platform of regulatory authorities whose primary function is to be:

  •   a forum for informal discussion and exchange of views between regulatory authorities in the field of the media;
  •   a forum for exchange of information about common issues of national and European media regulation;
  •   a forum for discussion of practical solutions to legal problems regarding the interpretation and application of media regulation.

§2 The remit of the EPRA shall exclude the making of common declarations and the pursuit of national goals.

Article 2
Membership

§1 The members of the EPRA are drawn from national or regional European regulatory authorities, operating in their respective countries or regions, which have at least one of the following functions:

  •    licensing radio and/or television services
  •    making rules
  •    monitoring of programmes (TV and/or radio)
  •    imposition of sanctions
  •    quasi-judicial power

§2 Members are obliged to pay an annual fee to the account of the Secretariat before 31st December of each year for the period of one year beginning on the 1st January in the next year. The amount will be decided annually in advance by a simple majority of the members at the EPRA autumn meeting. Membership includes the participation of representatives of the member at the two meetings of EPRA. Membership may be terminated by resignation in writing.

§3 If a member joins the EPRA after the Spring meeting of the year has taken place, the annual fee for the year ending on the 31st December will be halved.

Article 3
Executive Board

§1 An Executive Board shall be elected by the members during the plenary session of an EPRA meeting for a period of two years and shall consist of one Chairperson and up to a maximum of four Vice-Chairpersons. One of the Vice-Chairpersons shall be designated the Senior Vice-Chairperson by the Executive Board.

§ 2 Nominations to the Board shall be made in writing at the latest one month before the EPRA meeting. To be eligible for election, a nominee has to be nominated by two separate EPRA members and must have accepted the nomination in writing before the meeting. The nominations shall specify the post of the nominees. One person may be nominated for more than one post. The name of the candidates shall be communicated to all EPRA members before the meeting.

§3 The Chairperson shall chair the meetings and represent the EPRA in its external relations. He/she will also be responsible for the agenda and the minutes of the meetings.

§4 The Vice-Chairpersons will assist the Chairperson in his/her tasks. The Senior Vice-Chairperson shall replace the Chairperson in office in the event of the absence or the temporary incapacity of the Chairperson.

§5 If the Chairperson shall be permanently incapacitated the Senior Vice-Chairperson will replace him/her to serve for the remainder of his term.

Article 4
Observers/approved participants

§1 The Executive Board may invite representatives of governments, or regulatory authorities which are not members to a meeting of the EPRA if their participation is considered useful for the meeting or in order to allow them to attain an overview of the activities of the platform for a possible future membership.

§2 The Executive Board may also invite participants other than regulatory authorities for a specific presentation.

§3 The European Commission, the Council of Europe, the European Audiovisual Observatory and the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media may each send observers to EPRA meetings.

Article 5
Right to vote and right of eligibility

§1 Each member has one vote.

§2 The Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons shall be members or employees of their respective regulatory authority.

§3 Voting is in writing and shall be secret, if a member so demands. However, voting for the Board shall be secret. Separate voting shall take place for the election of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairpersons. Decisions are taken by a simple majority of all voting members, except in the case described in Article 11§1. In the event of a tie in an election of a Chairperson or a Vice-Chairperson, the result shall be decided by the drawing of lots. In the event of a tie in any other matter, the Chairperson has the casting vote.

Article 6
Operation of EPRA Meetings

§1 EPRA Members meet, as a rule, twice a year. The first meeting takes place in spring and the second in autumn. The meetings are hosted by a member.

§2 The meetings consist of the plenary sessions and working groups.

§3 The EPRA Board may, upon written request from a host authority, decide to limit the number of delegates per member authority attending an EPRA meeting or make the participation of member organisations in the meeting subject to the payment of a fee to be paid to the meeting host. Practical arrangements concerning the mode of payment and collection of the fee are to be organised by the authority submitting the request. The amount of the fee is set by the Board after consultation with the host authority.

Article 7
EPRA Secretariat

§1 The EPRA will be supported by a Secretariat, which is hosted by an institution involved in media studies or, in exceptional circumstances, by a member of the EPRA. The hosting body shall guarantee the independence of the EPRA Secretariat.

§2 The hosting body is selected by the EPRA plenary assembly, following a proposal of the Executive Board. The Executive Board is responsible for the organisational and financial agreements with the selected hosting body.

§3 The functions of the Secretariat will be to:

I. organise the meetings, including official invitations to the meetings, contact with speakers, preparation of the agenda, registration form, background documents, minutes and press releases of the meetings,
II. facilitate the exchange of information between members, in particular through the EPRA website,
III. keep a resource centre on media regulation in Europe.

Article 8
Budget

§1 Once a year, not later than four weeks before the date fixed for the Autumn meeting of the EPRA, the Secretariat will present a detailed list of its expenditures for the year to the previous 31st December.

§2 Should a surplus occur, the members will decide on the priority of its use.

§3 Should the budget not cover the costs of the Secretariat, the members will decide, on the appropriate measures to take, including the increase of the Membership fee.

§4 The Executive Board will examine the budget of the Secretariat once a year. The Secretariat will provide reports of independent auditors to this effect.

Article 9
Confidentiality of documents

§1 The minutes of the EPRA meetings are not public. The Secretariat may with the Chairperson's consent, publish press releases containing basic information regarding the contents of the meetings.

§2 The EPRA working papers and documents are public, provided the EPRA Secretariat has obtained the authors' consent.

Article 10
Working Language

§1 The working languages are English and French. Nevertheless, for practical reasons, some working documents may, at the discretion of the Secretariat, be in English only.

Article 11
Final Provisions

§1 These statutes may be amended by a two-third majority of voting members. A proposal for amendment of the statutes must be delivered to the Secretariat at least two weeks before the meeting at which it is to be deliberated.

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