An innovation following Viviane Reding’s appointment
as ‘co-ordinator for relations with the media’ will
be the creation of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the press as
an industry. The rise of the internet could provide a case
for EU action due to cross-border implications.
Viviane Reding, the new commissioner for audiovisual
policy and the information society in the Barroso team,
has pledged to improve co-operation with the media
In a speech on 5 November at the Congress of the
European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA),
Reding said Commission President Barroso intends to give
the issue “even more attention” than the
outgoing Prodi team.
Under this “new partnership”, Reding is to
be appointed “co-ordinator for relations with the
media industry”. “This is the first time that
this kind of one-stop-shop for the media industry would
be created within the Commission,” Reding said.
Her role would involve working closely with other
Commissioners (including competition, internal market and
consumer protection) to make sure that “all aspects
of the legislative proposals or EU decisions which could
affect the media are properly considered”.
But she warned that the new partnership should not be
“a one-way street”. “In my view, it also
implies thinking, for example, about ways of increasing
coverage of European issues in the media”.
Reding’s co-ordination role would involve three
early warning system
consisting of more systematic consultations between
Commission departments and with the media industry (a
contact point for the media sector in the new DG
Information Society, Media and Audiovisual Policy would
be created and correspondents in commissioners’
cabinets with responsibility for ‘media
affairs’ could be introduced).
economic and social developments in the media
to “help the media to become more
competitive” and make “full use of the
opportunities offered by the single market” (VAT
is cited as a possible issue here).
However, she emphasised that ‘soft laws’ such
as co- or self-regulatory measures would be the
Commission’s preferred instrument. As legislative
measures on media concentration fall under member
states’ responsibilities, EU competition law can only
invoked to ensure market access for new entrants, Reding
explained. “It is difficult to find a legal basis
for legislative action on media ownership at the EU
level,” Reding said.