Showing posts from 2020

Press publishers voice concerns about platform and selection criteria of the European Democracy, Audiovisual and Media Action Plans

ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, and EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association, representing tens of thousands of press publications across Europe welcome that the Commission is looking into the challenges of media and journalism in Europe, especially as the sector has been severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The European Democracy Action Plan and the Audiovisual and Media Action plan released today propose legislative and non-legislative measures that apply among others to the press sector. Regarding the European Democracy Action Plan, EMMA-ENPA do not believe that an extension of the Commission's existing code of practice on disinformation is the way forward. Overall, press publishers are concerned that the EU, Member States, gatekeeper platforms or third parties such as fact-checking organisations like the Journalism Trust Initiative would decide which publications are trustworthy and promoted on gatekeeper platforms and which ones pushed to irrelevance

Broadcasters call for Media & Democracy Action Plans to ensure investment in content, media pluralism & trustworthy news

BRUSSELS, 3 DECEMBER 2020. Commercial Broadcasters welcome the opportunity to engage with the Commission’s European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) and Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade Action Plan (EMDDAP). Both proposals have at their heart the desire to sustain and grow Europe’s media ecosystem, an objective shared by broadcasters and the European creative economy as a whole. Legal certainty on the business drivers and a commitment to a level playing field should be the priority for any recovery strategy. As commercial broadcasters, our core business is to serve customers across Europe and the world. Our members have actively developed in the past decades hundreds of linear, non-linear, OTT, VOD and catch up services in and across Europe. We are proud to be one of the key sectors to drive investments in digital transformation; financing this drive on our own revenues while facing severe and unprecedented anti-competitive conducts in the online environment. As fully regulated busines

EU Commission launches Action Plan to support recovery and digital transformation of the media and audiovisual sectors

Source: EU Commission 3 December 2020 Brussels Today the Commission adopted an Action Plan to support the recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sector. These sectors, particularly hit by the coronavirus crisis, are essential for democracy, Europe's cultural diversity and digital autonomy. The Action Plan focuses on three areas of activity and 10 concrete actions, to help the media sector recover from the crisis by facilitating and broadening access to finance, transform by stimulating investments to embrace the twin digital and green transitions while ensuring the sector's future resilience and empower European citizens and companies. Recover Under the Recovery and Resilience Facility , each National Recovery and Resilience Plan will earmark a minimum level of 20% of expenditure for digital. Measures to boost the production and distribution of digital content, such as digital media, will count towards this target. In addition, the Action Plan aims to: Facili

Press publishers comment on the European Parliament’s adopted Report on Strengthening Media Freedom and ask for competition to be restored in the online ecosystem

EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association and ENPA, the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association which together represent tens of thousands of newspapers and magazines across Europe would like to comment on the report on strengthening media freedom: the protection of journalists in Europe, hate speech, disinformation and the role of platforms which was adopted by the European Parliament’s Plenary today. ENPA and EMMA welcome that the report recognises the importance of media freedom and media’s essential role in European democracies, as brought forward by the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes several positive provisions. It is important that the report also stresses that the legal framework created by the EU states should contribute to the creation of independent and pluralistic media, and that any actions of the state contrary to these values constitute a serious abuse of powers and go against the fundamental values of the EU. The document repeatedly condemns all attempts by the s

EU Commission opens infringement procedures against 23 Member States for failing to transpose the Directive on audiovisual content

Source: EU Commission 23 November 2020 Brussels Today, the European Commission launched infringement procedures against 23 Member States and the United Kingdom for failing to enact the new rules governing EU-wide coordination of all audiovisual media, both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services, and video-sharing platforms. These new EU rules aim to create a regulatory framework fit for the digital age, leading to a safer, fairer and more diverse audiovisual landscape. They reinforce the protection of viewers, with particular regard to the safety of those most vulnerable, such as minors, and the extension of rules regarding hate speech to video-sharing platforms, and foster cultural diversity in audiovisual media, at the same time as introducing for the first time new independence requirements for national media regulators and safeguarding media pluralism. The deadline for transposing the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive into national legislation was 19 September

EU Commission offers €3.9 million to support investigative journalism and media freedom

20 November 2020 Related topics Media Freedom and Pluralism Supporting media and digital culture Today, the European Commission launched a call for proposals of €3.9 million to further support cross-border investigations as well as to map and address violations of press and media freedom. Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: More than ever journalists are facing threats, from online harassment to physical attacks, from political pressure to the lack of job security. When journalists are in danger, democracy is in danger. This is why we are funding projects which will directly support journalists who need it with legal and practical assistance as well as with grants for cross-border investigations. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, added: I welcome the launch of this call for proposals, which, besides supporting collaboration on journalistic investigations into topical societal issues, will also help equipping journalists with the skills an

The EU must set the standards for regulating online platforms, say MEPs

Source: Foreign service providers must adhere to upcoming EU rules Consumers to be better protected against illegal, counterfeit and unsafe products Stricter conditions for targeted ads and more control for users over what they see online Specific rules for big platforms, “gatekeepers” of market access Parliament calls for future-proof rules on digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces, and for a binding mechanism to tackle illegal content online. MEPs approved tonight two separate  “legislative initiative”  reports calling on the Commission to address and tackle current shortcomings in the online environment in its Digital Services Act (DSA) package, due to be presented in December. The current EU rules for digital services have remained largely unchanged since the e-commerce directive was adopted twenty years ago. With the upcoming package, the European Union aims

The End of Targeted Digital Advertising in Europe?

EMMA, ENPA, EPC, FEDMA, EGTA, and Germany's ZAW "voice strong concerns about key parts of the EP JURI report on the Digital Services Act" Source:  JOINT PRESS RELEASE: PHASING-OUT OF TARGETED ADVERTISING AS SUGGESTED BY THE ADOPTED JURI REPORT ON THE DIGITAL SERVICES ACT SENDS A POTENTIALLY FATAL MESSAGE FOR THE AD-FINANCED SECTORS On behalf of EMMA (European Magazine Media Association), ENPA (the European Newspaper Association) EPC (European Publishers Council), FEDMA (Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing), EGTA (Association of TV and radio sales houses), ZAW (German Advertising Federation), we would like to voice our strong concerns about some key parts of the EP JURI adopted report on the Digital Services Act on 20 October.  New Restrictions on online advertising? The report presents several problematic and worrying aspects and is regrettably one-sided, as it suggests new restrictions on online advertising which would be detrimental to the ad-finance

EU Commission clears acquisition of joint control of Axel Springer by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and KKR

Source: EU Commission The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control of Axel Springer SE of Germany by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board of Canada (“CCPIB”) of Canada and KKR & Co. Inc. (“KKR”) of the US.   Axel Springer is a media company active in more than 40 countries worldwide. CCPIB is an in investment firm acting for the Canada Pension Plan Fund. KKR provides asset management services and capital market solutions. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the moderate combined market position in the areas where the companies' activities overlap. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.  More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9864 .

EU Commission: Questions & Answers on revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive Guidelines in Europe

Source: EU Commission 2 July 2020, Brussels Why is the Commission issuing guidelines on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive? Under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD ), the Commission, after consulting relevant representatives of the EU Member States (so-called Contact Committee), has to adopt guidelines on the definition of video-sharing platform services and on obligations to promote European works. The revised AVMSD extends certain audiovisual rules to video-sharing platforms, including certain 'hybrid' services such as social media,where the provision of videos and programmes is not the principal purpose of the service, but still constitutes an ‘essential functionality' thereof. The guidelines clarify which services will be covered by the new rules under this criterion. The new rules also strengthen cultural diversity, notably by introducing obligations for video on-demand services to

EU Commission takes further steps to promote European audiovisual works and protect vulnerable viewers

Source: EU Commission: 2 July 2020, Brussels Today, the Commission adopted guidelines to help Member States implement the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The guidelines will offer a practical tool to ensure the promotion of European works in media content, thereby supporting cultural diversity and greater choice for European consumers. They will also help better protect users of video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, particularly minors, against hate speech and harmful content. Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “The revised audiovisual rules will be a tool to safeguard users against harmful content. They will also enable European companies, films and other media ventures to create and promote European produced content, for consumers to enjoy cultural diversity and a more varied choice of products and services.” Commissioner for Internal Market, Thie

Disinformation: EU Commission welcomes intermediary report on Code of Practice

Source: EU Commission The Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Regulators Group of Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) of the  monitoring report  on the effectiveness of the  Code of Practice on disinformation  of October 2018.  This report confirms that the Code has provided the foundation for a structured dialogue and has had a positive impact in the fight against online disinformation, despite shortcomings. It suggests that a co-regulatory backstop may be necessary in order to ensure more transparent and effective actions.  Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra  Jourová , said: “ I am glad to see that the Code of Practice and our dialogue with the signatories are showing an initial positive impact, but more remains to be done. This report will fuel our ongoing work on the European Democracy Action Plan which will propose measures to counter disinformation and evolving threats for our democracies. It will aim, among others, at creating a more transparent an

Coronavirus and the European film industry - EP Research Service

Link:  Coronavirus and the European film industry Written by Ivana Katsarova, EU Parliament Research Service With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the shutdown of some 70 000 cinemas in China, nearly 2 500 in the US and over 9 000 in the EU, the joy sparked by the success of the film industry in 2019 has quickly given way to anxiety. Shootings, premieres, spring festivals and entertainment events have faced near-total cancellation or postponement due to the pandemic, thus inflicting an estimated loss of US$5 billion on the global box office; this amount could skyrocket to between US$15 billion and US$17 billion, if cinemas do not reopen by the end of May 2020. The EU film sector is essentially made up of small companies employing creative and technical freelancers, which makes it particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. The domino effect of the lockdown has triggered the immediate freeze of hundreds of projects in the shooting phase, disrupted cash flows and push

MEPs: EU funds must reach tumbling media and creative sectors

Source: EU Parliament 21/4/2020 Support needed for media, with advertising revenues dropping as much as 80%  Make sure EU support reaches culture SMEs, individual creators and charities Create an emergency fund for media, earmark structural funds for culture, and beef up the guarantee instrument Additional EU action is needed to make sure EU help reaches the ravaged media and culture sectors, say EP Culture committee members. The culture and creative sector in the EU - especially individual creators and SMEs - and the media sector are being decimated by the crisis. The European Union must therefore do more to help those struggling sectors to get back on their feet, stress the members of the European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, in a letter to Commissioners Thierry Breton and Mariya Gabriel, sent on Monday. Emergency support fund for media The media and press sectors currently play a crucial role in providing accurate information and thorough reporting. They a

EU Commission Answer to a written question - TikTok

Answer to a written question - TikTok - E-003875/2019(ASW) See question(s) : E-003875/2019 16 March 2020 E-003875/2019 Answer given by Mr Reynders on behalf of the European Commission Question reference: E-003875/2019 The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)(1) applies to the processing of personal data in the context of the activities of an establishment of a controller or a processor in the Union, or to processing by a controller or processor not established in the Union where the processing activities are related to the offering of goods or services to individuals in the Union or the monitoring of their behaviour within the Union. Where information society services process personal data of individuals in the EU on the basis of consent, they need to verify whether those individuals are children below the age of 16 years. Member States may provide by law for a lower age. In such case, information society services must make reasonable efforts to verify that consent is given or aut

EU Commission clears the acquisition of Penguin by Bertelsmann

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Penguin Random House (“PRH”) of the US by Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA (“Bertelsmann”) of Germany. PRH is a media company active in trade publishing. Bertelsmann is active in television and television production, trade publishing, magazine publishing, and music rights management services. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because Bertelsmann already holds 75% of PRH and the transaction merely implements a transition from joint to sole control, without introducing significant modifications of pre-existing competition. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.9710 .