16 January 2007
The European Publishers Council (EPC) has welcomed the Commission’s Staff Working Paper on Media pluralism published today, 16 January, which clearly states that the EU has no legal competence to intervene in this area. This document will kick start a new phase of consultation including various studies to be commissioned by Mrs Reding’s DG INFSO.
EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “Very importantly, this paper, recognises that there is no strict correlation between media concentration and pluralism. It reads: " the mere fact that concentration takes place does not automatically indicate that there is a loss in or a lack of media pluralism.”
Angela continued: “Media Pluralism arguments can be misused by those who wish to restrict our business activities, Member States included and we are delighted that the Commission has accepted that media specific legislation to regulate media concentration would discriminate disproportionately against traditional media companies such as publishers.
“The European Publishers Council believes that the question of pluralism must be judged and dealt with at the local, i.e. national level against carefully measured public interest objectives and by applying the full rigours of competition policy at both national and European level.
“We would never accept the case for new, European level media concentration legislation and will monitor the next phases of this initiative carefully, particularly in terms of how the Commission intends to develop their new approach of identifying a range of concrete indictors to measure pluralism.”
For further information, please contact Angela Mills Wade on Tel: +44 1865 310 732 or Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265.