EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE-PRESIDENT NEELIE KROES ADDRESSES THE ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN RADIOS’ ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT THE OCCASION OF ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY
The Association of European Radios (AER) held in Brussels its Annual Conference and General Assembly on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary. Besides approving AER’s new internal organisational chart, these events were the occasion to analyse the situation of the European commercial radio sector and all matters affecting radio, such as radio spectrum, advertising, copyright and the coexistence between private and public radios in Europe.
On March 3rd, AER held its Annual Conference at the European Parliament. Opening the conference, Alfonso Ruiz de Assín, AER President, explained that “radios’ activities still require use of spectrum, as a primary user. While partial or total migration to terrestrial digital radio will eventually take place, it will require a very long process and burdensome investments; furthermore, there won’t be a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’. As radio is local / regional / national, in bands used by radios, decisions should be taken at national level for spectrum management. Finally, only on the day when digital terrestrial broadcasting will be sure to reach the entire population, whether at home, at work or on the move, can authorities responsibly envisage a switch off of analogue radio services”.
Responding on these points in her keynote address on the future of radio, Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President in charge of the Digital Agenda, declared: “There is no single way forward – radio can obviously be delivered over a wide variety of platforms and its programmes can be rich and varied. It is not for us in Brussels to dictate the pace or the way change should happen in this diverse sector. However, my role as European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda is to create the best conditions for those evolutions to happen”.
The Commissioner’s address was followed by a lively panel session where Cecilia Wikström MEP (ALDE, JURI), Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg MEP (S&D, JURI), Tilman Lüder (Head of the Copyright Unit within the European Commission DG Internal Market and Services) and Julia Maier-Hauff, AER Secretary General, exchanged views on the upcoming EU framework on collective management of authors’ rights and related rights. Julia Maier-Hauff recalled that radios should be able to purchase whatever rights they require for whatever purpose wherever they wish to exercise them from any collective rights’ management organisation in the EU against clear, published, comparable tariffs.
The last panel session saw Petra Kammerevert MEP (S&D, CULT), and Stefan Möller, AER Vice-President, agreeing on the fact that mandatory messages in radio advertising are dangerous for radio’s development and unnecessary for consumers: detailed information is more usefully delivered at the point of sale or on dedicated websites.
AER moreover held its General Assembly and elected a new Secretary General: Julia Maier-Hauff (VPRT – Germany). She succeeds Frederik Stucki (VSP – Switzerland) who had held the function since 2004. The AER General Assembly thanked Frederik Stucki for his successful term as AER Secretary General. The AER General Assembly acknowledged Matt Payton’s appointment as the new representative of the RadioCentre (UK) within AER. The 20th AER General Assembly was also celebrated with a social event at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Association Coordinator / EU Policy Adviser: Mr. Vincent Sneed.
Telephone: +32 2 736 91 31
Fax: +32 2 732 89 90
E-mail: vincent.sneed @ aereurope.org
For more information on AER: www.aereurope.org
Some of the speeches held at the AER conference of March 3rd will be made available on the AER website.