12 March, 2014
Inaugural Meeting of the ERGA
(Article updated on 20 March with a link to the ERGA Rules of Procedures)
The inaugural meeting of the Group of European Regulators for audiovisual media services (ERGA) took place on 4 March 2014 at the European Commission's premises in Brussels.
27 senior representatives of independent authorities responsible for regulating audiovisual media in the Member States of the European Union participated in the meeting. Liechtenstein, Norway and the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) also attended the meeting as observers.
For this very first meeting, the agenda focused on procedural issues with the adoption of Rules of Procedure for the group as well as the election of the “troika” of authorities heading the group.
Olivier Schrameck, President of the French Conseil supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) was elected Chairman of the group; Madeleine de Cock Buning, President of the Dutch Commissariaat voor de Media (CvdM) and Jan Dworak, President of the Polish Broadcasting Council Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT) were elected Vice-Chairs. Their mandate will last until the end of 2015.
During the meeting, EPRA Chairperson Jean-François Furnémont had the opportunity to present the newly adopted Work Programme of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities for 2014.
The ERGA was formally established by a Decision of the European Commission on 3 February 2014. The main objectives for the Group are as follows:
to advise and assist the Commission in its work, to ensure a consistent implementation of the AVMSD as well as in any other matters related to audiovisual media services within the Commission's competence.
to facilitate cooperation between the regulatory bodies in the EU, as provided for in the directive regulating audiovisual media services.
to allow for an exchange of experience and good practices.
The ERGA will coexist with other cooperation networks whose objectives and mode of functioning are complementary, the largest of them being the EPRA.
EPRA will retain its specificity and added-value as an informal and independent platform for cooperation with its unique geographical coverage and practical and pragmatic orientation.
The regulators’ group is planning to hold its meetings mainly in Brussels, where they will be hosted by the European Commission, whereas EPRA meetings will continue to be organised by NRAs on a rotating and voluntary basis.
The new group will have strategic EU policy-oriented discussions and intends to adopt common positions or declarations on the implementation of the audiovisual EU regulatory framework, whereas EPRA will continue holding practically-oriented exchanges of experiences and identifying best practices on media regulation in Europe. EPRA’s engagement with stakeholders will also remain informal.
The level of representation of the new group will be high/executive level, whereas EPRA remains flexible about the composition of the delegations and welcomes regional authorities of federal states.
The group will also complement the work of the Contact Committee, which is composed of representatives of Member States, and was established by Article 29 AVMSD.
"Any step towards enhanced cooperation between media regulators is good news and the formalization of this group in such a setting is certainly a giant leap in that direction, stressed EPRA Chair Jean-François Furnémont. It is my conviction that ERGA and EPRA will be able to develop numerous synergies and have the potential to complement each other not only in view of the implementation of the regulatory framework, but also in the perspective of its review in the coming years. I am looking forward to establishing these synergies with Oliver Schrameck in the coming weeks, in a period full of challenges for media regulation. I also would like to thank the DG Connect – and in particular the Head of Unit Lorena Boix Alonso – for having taken this initiative which was expected not only by some stakeholders but also by several of our members".
Sources: Website of the European Commission and national regulatory authorities /EPRA