Last month, Fondation EurActiv released its ‘Yellow Overview’ with 6 recommendations for independent and sustainable media in Europe at an event gathering 120+ policy-makers, stakeholders and media representatives in the European Parliament. (You can read more on this here, and in my previous #Media4EU blog posts.)
Call for a High Level Group for a healthy EU Media sector
The #Media4EU event and ‘yellow overview’ helped to structure the debate along 6 policy principles and 6 matching practical EU actions. While the proposal number 5 “EU Support for quality journalism & scrutiny” is clearly not yet accepted by everyone, the debates overall revealed a strong support for an EU strategy for the media sector, especially the call for the creation of a High Level Group to this end.
Endorsements were not only expressed by those invited and present at the event. We are already ‘getting traction’ for this initiative, from various circles (so far: some MEPs, Commission top management, political advisers, think tanks, press corps, media associations, unions, former Commissioners). It is clear that the concern about the sustainability of Europe’s media and the role they fulfil in our democracies is growing. Charlie Hebdo and the debates that followed sadly reminded us once more of that.
Typically, each EU mandate takes at least one policy initiative regarding press freedom or media pluralism. Is this enough?
- In 2011, Neelie Kroes established the EU Media Futures Forum, a group to reflect on the impact of the digital revolution on European Media Industries. Chaired by Christian van Thillo, CEO of De Persgroep comprising of over 20 personalities from the publishing, broadcasting, advertising, telecommunications, equipment manufacturers, social media and online industries.One of the topics for discussion that was set out in the initial Terms of Reference was “What are the conditions for sustainable business models that can deliver quality journalism?”. This point is however only vaguely addressed in the Final Report of working group and is at the heart of the #Media4EU debate.
Moving forward: who would you nominate? to achieve what?
In anticipation of the confirmation of such a high level group for a European Media Strategy, stakeholder views are already welcome on the following questions:
A. Who would you nominate for such a group on European Media Strategy? What ideal mix of different stakeholders and profiles should these personalities have?
B. What specific mandate should such a group have to give real input and make an impact for the sector?