Newspaper Publishers to debate with EC High Level Group on Freedom and Pluralism of the Media

Newspaper publishers and national newspaper associations from around Europe will hold a special debate in Nicosia, Cyprus, tomorrow (24th May) with the High Level Group on Freedom and Pluralism of the Media appointed by the European Commission.

Members of the High Level Group, appointed by the European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes last year, will participate in a special seminar entitled “Press Freedom and Pluralism in a Changing Media Landscape”. The event takes place on the eve of the General Assembly of the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), which will bring representatives from the publishing sector across Europe to Nicosia, Cyprus. Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the former President of Latvia, chairs the High Level Group which is due to come forward with final recommendations in Autumn 2012. The three other independent experts from the Group will also participate in the debate with representatives from the newspaper publishing sector: Professor Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former Minister of Justice of Germany; Ben Hammersley, digital pioneer & Editor at Large of Wired magazine; and Professor Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro of European University Institute and former Advocate-General at the European Court of Justice.

The independent experts will exchange views with newspaper publishers on such issues as:
· The role of publishers and editorial responsibility;
· Media concentration, pluralism and impact on national/local culture;
· National issues including latest developments in Hungary and Bulgaria.

In the course of the debate, ENPA will highlight the important role of the news media sector as a source of cultural diversity and pluralism in Europe (see summary of position paper in annex). The newspaper market in Europe is characterised by competing, independent publishing houses, conveying an enormous variety of information and opinion at local, regional and national level.

ENPA President, Ivar Rusdal, said: “Self-regulation is an essential element to maintaining a diverse, free and independent press in Europe. Respect for the fundamental right of press freedom, rather than more regulation, is vital to promote pluralism in the European media landscape.”

ENPA Executive Director, Francine Cunningham, said: “It is necessary for newspapers to be financially viable and sustainable, in order to fulfill their role as a watchdog in democratic society. A flourishing free and independent press requires the right legislative conditions, including respect for the value of content, as well as fair and balanced business relationships between publishers and technological platforms in the digital environment.”

Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Culture and Education, has alsokindly agreed to be the keynote speaker at the ENPA General Assembly in Nicosia on 25th May to speak about media literacy, the value of copyright and the level of VAT applied to newspapers in print and digital formats.

For further information contact:

Francine Cunningham, Executive Director
email: francine.cunningham@enpa.be or tel: +32 478 261 995 

EMMA

The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats. EMMA represents 15,000 publishing houses, publishing 50,000 magazine titles across Europe in print and digital.

www.magazinemedia.eu
ENPA

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 16 national associations across 13 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.

www.enpa.eu