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Research & Regulators: a comparative overview

posted on 15 July, 2015   (public)

Research & Regulators: a Comparative Overview

A comparative overview paper on Research and Regulators has been published on the EPRA website on 13 July 2015. This final output document, authored by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI), is based on the outcome of the discussion in the Working group "Research & regulators: Towards an evidence-based approach" which met on 14 May 2015 in Berne for the 41st EPRA meeting and the analysis of the responses to a questionnaire circulated to EPRA members.

The ad-hoc working group of the EPRA meeting in Berne, dedicated to research needs and practices of regulatory authorities in Europe, was the first occasion that EPRA discussed this important subject in a meeting. The reason behind the decision to include it in the EPRA Annual Work Programme for 2015, dealing with the ultimate goals of media policy and the impact of economic and technological changes of the digital era, lied in the perception of the growing dependency of regulatory authorities on a robust knowledge-base to fulfil their missions in the increasingly complex media environment.

The working group session, which was chaired by EPRA Vice-Chair Monica Ariño, offered an opportunity to confront constructively views of different sized regulators and academia. Presentations of the panellists Prof. Dr. Manuel Puppis of the University of Fribourg/ECREA, Alison Preston from Ofcom UK, Marita Bergtun from the Norwegian Media Authority, and Hüseyin Demirbilek from RTÜK, Turkey, were followed by a lively discussion during which several members took the floor. 

The aim of the final output paper is to provide a brief analytical summary on the use of research in the regulatory practice of EPRA members, the type of research input they most often need, the resources dedicated to internal or external research, on recent research projects they are conducting, and on proposals for related efforts at EPRA level. Two annexes to the document give examples of recent and ongoing research projects and activities among regulatory authorities as well as a non-exhaustive list of resources regularly used by NRAs.

  • The results of the questionnaire and the discussion confirm the variety in concepts of mission, responsibilities and organisation of the participating regulatory authorities, as well as the great difference in size and resources.
     
  • Most regulators are advocating for evidence-based regulation, yet the extent to which policies and decisions are actually based on research outcomes seems to vary considerably.
     
  • Although many regulators recognise the advantages of internal research and have well-staffed research departments in place, the majority of the NRAs is not organised in this way.
     
  • The findings point out the difficult conditions several regulators are currently operating under.
     
  • Far-reaching differences in budgets and other resources for research, along with discrepancies in the level of the implementation of research findings, highlight the dichotomy between the regulators whose mandate is limited almost exclusively to the application of legal provisions and the authorities taking part in informing, guiding or developing policies.
     
  • Yet, research is deemed very important for the majority of regulators, and many of them have highlighted in their response the virtuous circle of research and regulation.

"Research & regulators: Towards an evidence-based approach", Final output document (EPRA/2015/05c) by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI)

Final output document (EPRA/2015/05c) by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI), - See more at: http://www.epra.org/attachments/berne-wg3-research-regulators-final-output-document#sthash.xCq9mKGQ.dpuf

Source: EPRA Secretariat

Final output document (EPRA/2015/05c) by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI), based on the outcome of the discussion in the Working group "Research & regulators: Towards an evidence-based approach" which met on 14 May 2015 in Berne for the 41st EPRA meeting and the analysis of the responses to a questionnaire circulated to EPRA members (final public version). Final output document (EPRA/2015/05c) by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI), based on the outcome of the discussion in the Working group "Research & regulators: Towards an evidence-based approach" which met on 14 May 2015 in Berne for the 41st EPRA meeting and the analysis of the responses to a questionnaire circulated to EPRA members (final public version). Final output document (EPRA/2015/05c) by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI), based on the outcome of the discussion in the Working group "Research & regulators: Towards an evidence-based approach" which met on 14 May 2015 in Berne for the 41st EPRA meeting and the analysis of the responses to a questionnaire circulated to EPRA members (final public version). Final output document (EPRA/2015/05c) by Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, AKOS (SI), based on the outcome of the discussion in the Working group "Research & regulators: Towards an evidence-based approach" which met on 14 May 2015 in Berne for the 41st EPRA meeting and the analysis of the responses to a questionnaire circulated to EPRA members (final public version). - See more at: http://www.epra.org/attachments/berne-wg3-research-regulators-final-output-document#sthash.T1Liry03.dpuf