8th EPRA meeting in Aachen

posted on 07 November, 1998   (public)

The EPRA held its eighth meeting in Aachen, Germany at the invitation of the LfR, the North-Rhine Westphalian regulatory authority on 5-6 November 1998

Representatives from 26 European audiovisual regulatory authorities (from EU, EFTA, Central and Eastern European countries as well as Turkey) met to exchange information and experiences on European and national regulatory issues in the field of radio and television. On this occasion, a special welcome was given by the Chairman, Greger Lindberg (Director of the Swedish Broadcasting Commission), to five new EPRA members, the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel of the Belgian French-speaking Community, the Broadcasting Council of Latvia, the Broadcasting Standards Commission in the UK, the Austrian Regionalradio- und Kabelrundfunkbehörde and the Swiss Federal Office for Communication. Also welcomed to the EPRA were representatives from Italy, Luxembourg and Finland, who attended the EPRA meeting for the first time as observers. The European Commission (DG X) and the Council of Europe have the status of standing observers.

The issue of the practical aspects of convergence for regulatory authorities was the main item on the agenda. Members reported on their respective definition of broadcasting and their remit as regards new media services, such as broadcasting on the Internet or DAB. They also discussed the pros and cons of a single regulatory body for broadcasting and telecommunication matters.

The showing of video examples also provided the basis for an exchange of views regarding the issue of infringement of privacy. The participants dedicated the second half day to the discussion of current European developments in the field of the media, such as the Report of the High-Level Advisory Group on future European Union Audiovisual Policy.

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 common issues of national and European media regulation as well as their interpretation and application. To date, 24 regulatory authorities are members of the EPRA. The Secretariat of the Platform is provided by the European Institute for the Media (EIM). Further information is available from the Secretariat.

The next meeting of the EPRA is scheduled for 6-7 May 1999 in Vevey, Switzerland at the joint invitation of the Complaints Commission (AIEP) and the Federal Office for Communication (OFCOM).