What is the EPC?
The European Publishers Council is a high level group of Chairmen and CEOs of leading European media corporations actively involved in multimedia markets spanning newspaper, magazine, book, journal, internet and online database publishers, and radio and TV broadcasting.
The EPC is not a trade association but a high level group of the most senior representatives of newspaper and magazine publishers in Europe. Members have been working since 1991 to review the impact of proposed European legislation on the press, and then express an agreed opinion to the initiators of the legislation, politicians and opinion-formers with a view to influencing the content of final directives and regulations. The overall objective has always been to encourage good law-making for the media industry.
Letter from the Chairman
Europe's publishers and broadcasters are facing their most challenging moment since the foundation of the European Publishers Council in 1991.
The online revolution disrupts the media just as the encroachment of man disrupts the natural world. Imagine if your favourite newspaper or much loved TV or radio programme just ceased to exist. We should all be worried because, if the media suffers, then so does democracy.
The internet is an outstanding demonstration of man's talent to reach for the stars and innovate. It enriches us all. But it is not a force of nature – it is a creation of mankind. The professional media has used its strong, trusted brands to create new audiences online where we find soaring popularity for quality news, comment and debate. But with more competition for less revenue, profits are elusive.
Profits for some come more easily sometimes via our investment in high quality content, often creating the illusion of "everything for nothing". Enticing though this might be to consumers, there is the risk longer term of a very impoverished media – generating less fact based journalism and undermining our professionalism, threatening jobs, titles and future investment.
The web is the most brilliant invention of our time. We must not allow it, in its unruly adolescent years, to destroy the media that are the very essence of civilised society.
So what do we want from regulators? Please carefully consider the consequences of any legislation that might affect the very core of what Europe represents: freedom and diversity. Please value the part we play in providing high quality, authoritative and entertaining content on all platforms and for all people.
We want to work with regulators to protect these freedoms and to safeguard the media's continued contribution to the enrichment of the European Union's culture, economy and democracy.
Francisco Pinto Balsemão