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12th EPRA meeting in Bratislava

posted on 28 October, 2000   (public)

The European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) held its 12th meeting on 26-27 October 2000 in Bratislava, at the invitation of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission of the Slovak Republic.

Some 70 representatives from 32 European regulatory authorities in the field of broadcasting (from EU, EFTA, Central and Eastern European countries a/o.) met to exchange information and experiences on European and national regulatory issues in the field of radio and television.

The first topic on the agenda was the issue of human dignity in the media. The session started with a presentation by Prof Jo Groebel, Director General of the European Institute for the Media on current issues of human dignity in the context of the new media environment. Dunja Mijatovic from the Independent Media Commission complemented the overall picture by presenting recent cases of breaches of human dignity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on the right balance between freedom of expression and respect for human dignity and the role that regulators should play with regard to the protection of human dignity.

Two separate working groups convened simultaneously during the afternoon of the first day. The first working group, which dealt with the issue of jurisdiction and circumvention, opened with a presentation by Chris Quinlan from the Media Matrix Partnership in London on the exceptions to the 'country of origin' principle and the criteria identifying the country of jurisdiction.

The second group, which dealt with current trends in advertising, addressed the challenges brought about by the communications revolution and debated on how the traditional task of television advertising regulation might need to change. The second day was dedicated to a discussion on current developments in the European media, including the issue of major events, DTT recent developments and the Council of Europe's draft Recommendation on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector.

The European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) was set up in April 1995 in Malta with the aim of enabling representatives of regulatory authorities to meet regularly in an informal way to exchange information about national and European media regulation and discuss practical solutions to legal problems related to the interpretation and application of media regulation. To date, 35 regulatory authorities are members of the EPRA, the latest additions being the Norwegian Ownership Authority and the Romanian National Audiovisual Council (CNA). The European Commission (DG Education and Culture) and the Council of Europe (Media Division) have the status of standing observers.

The next meeting of EPRA is scheduled for 19-20 April 2001 in Barcelona, at the invitation of the Catalan CAC. The 14th meeting will take place in Malta on 27-28 September 2001.