Representatives from 29 European regulatory authorities in the field of broadcasting (from EU, EFTA, Central and Eastern countries a/o.) met to exchange information and experiences on European and national regulatory issues in the field of radio and television.
The first and main session dealt with a common concern for all regulatory bodies; namely the role of broadcasting regulators in the new media landscape which is characterised by convergence.
Given the diversity of the participants' remit and powers, two separate working groups were organised to encourage concrete discussion in the afternoon of the first day. These working groups, dealing respectively with the regulation of public service broadcasting and the issue of teleshopping, convened simultaneously. The second day was dedicated to the discussion of current developments in the European media, such as the regulation of interactive services on television and the Council of Europe's draft Recommendation on the independence and functions of regulatory authorities for the broadcasting sector.
The members also officially decided to keep the EPRA Secretariat within the Düsseldorf-based European Institute for the Media (EIM) and expand the secretarial structure to an almost full-time position to service the growing needs of the members.
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 regarding the interpretation and application of media regulation. To date, 30 regulatory authorities are members of the EPRA, the latest additions being the regulatory authorities from Finland, the Flemish Community of Belgium and Lithuania. The European Commission (DG X) and the Council of Europe have the status of standing observers.