EPRA Chairman Jean-François Furnémont participated in a conference co-organized by Access Info and the Open Society Media Programme on the transparency of media ownership in Europe in Brussels on 24 September 2013. The Sub-Committee on Media and Information Society of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) also cooperated in the event.
The goal of the conference was to exchange views with stakeholders (publishers, broadcasters, journalists, regulators, policy makers, …) about the recommendations developed by Access Info which are open for public consultation. These recommendations include disclosure to a national regulator and to the public of the essential basic information, transparency of influence, oversight by independent body and transnational access via a shared system.
In his intervention, Jean-François Furnémont stressed the fact that the issue of transparency has been recently at the heart of the Mediadem policy recommendations, the report of the High level group on media freedom and pluralism, the report of the Center for media freedom and pluralism and the resolution of the European Parliament on standard settings for media freedom across the EU.
He highlighted the importance of one of the recommendations, according to which “An independent oversight body such as a media regulator which already oversees registration of broadcast media should be mandated and adequately resourced to effectively monitor and ensure compliance with the relevant law(s)” about transparency, especially in the context of the public consultation of the European Commission on independence of NRAs.
This conference was also the opportunity to share with the participants the practice of several EPRA members in terms of transparency of media ownership, e.g. by the regulators in Germany (KEK, BLM), the Netherlands, Norway, Dutch speaking community of Belgium and French speaking community of Belgium.