54th EPRA meeting - "Cross-sectoral cooperation between regulators": summary of discussion

posted on 06 December, 2021   (public)

Cross-sectoral cooperation: a necessary learning-by-doing process for a coherent and efficient regulation of the online sphere

On 14 October 2021, as part of its 54th biannual meeting, EPRA organised an online session entitled "Cross-sectoral cooperation between regulators". Following up the joint event "Working together - Why does it matter?" organised with the Independent (Telecommunications) Regulators Group – IRG – in July, this plenary session aimed to delve further into the challenges of cooperation from an institutional and a thematic angle.

The first part of the meeting, dedicated to the institutional framework of cross-sectoral cooperation, discussed the challenges and opportunities raised by the forthcoming Digital Services Act (DSA).

The second part of the meeting focused on specific areas where cross-sectoral cooperation has proven to be crucial: elections & disinformation and online harms

Key lessons for audiovisual regulators:

  • Cooperation and coordination must gain in intensity for a coherent and efficient implementation of the regulatory framework in the online sphere.
  • Audiovisual regulators will increasingly be involved in the multifaceted online sphere, it is thus worth investing time and resources in cooperation.
  • Issues relating to the online sphere can be very complex, it is therefore important to experiment, and reach out to other authorities and stakeholders to join forces.
  • Identifying areas and policy objectives that interact between sectors and setting up strategies to align them or to avoid conflicts is an important first step.
  • Transparency and accountability should apply to both stakeholders and regulators. 
  • Cooperation can take many forms - joint research, joint decisions, or the establishment of a cross-sectoral cooperation forum as in the UK or the Netherlands - and apply in many areas - media and information literacy, election regulation, media plurality etc.

Check out the EPRA background document for an introduction to the topic, key points from the discussion, link to an introductory video as well as a list of selected resources to further explore the issue of cross-sectoral cooperation.

Moderated by Michèle Ledger from Cullen International, the session gathered:

The first panel: The institutional framework of cross-sectoral cooperation

- Alexandre de Streel, Namur University & CERRE (BE)
- Ben WagnerInholland University & TU Delft (NL)
- Martine Coquet, the ERGA/CSA-FR

The second panel: Spotlight on specific areas of cooperation

Elections & disinformation/online political advertising:

- Ľuboš Kukliš, the CBR-SK/ERGA, EPRA Chairperson
- Marie-Hélène BoulangerEuropean Commission/European Cooperation Network on Elections-ECNE

Online harms: case-studies on coordination between media regulation, competition and consumer protection policy areas

- Tania Van den BrandeOfcom (UK)
- Anne-Jel Hoelen, Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) (NL)


EPRA Secretariat