Maintenance with Olivier Schrameck in the magazine “Decision makers” of the month of April 2014, about its election with the presidency of the ERGA
Publication date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
You have just been elected with the presidency of the group of the European regulators of the services of audio-visual mediums. To what does correspond this group?
The ERGA (European Regulators Group for Audio-visual Media Services), was created by the European Commission on February 3rd in order to discuss the relative questions to the services of audio-visual mediums concerned with its competence. It is a question of an essential institutional innovation to advance the European policies as regards audio-visual. To collaborate within this structure will be the occasion for us, regulating, to carry out an in-depth reflection as for the future of the audio-visual sector and to facilitate the emergence of common initiatives.
The ERGA will have in particular as a task to accompany the European Commission in the recasting by the legislative instruments, in particular that of the directive on the services of audio-visual mediums (SMA) which could be launched starting from January 2015. The audio-visual services evolved considerably since 2007, date of the adoption of the last directive. The current situation, fruit of convergence, were not anticipated and require adjustments to take into account the evolutions related to the development of the services to the request, interactivity and use of the associated data.
In addition, the arrival on the market of audio-visual European and French of giants of the Internet like Netflix or Google ask new questions, which can find answer only on a European scale.
Last September, you had brought together in Paris several presidents of regulatory authorities from the point of view of one co-operation at the level of the European Union. It is from now on thing carried out. What justified this wish?
At the beginning of my mandate, I wished to strengthen the co-operation between regulatory authorities in charge of the audio-visual one within the European Union, from where the initiative of the meeting of Paris preceding the creation of the ERGA.
The existence of the ERGA is justified fully by the strategic nature of the subjects under discussion at the European level in the field of the audio-visual regulation. I think in particular of the questions raised by the Green Book about convergence, published last year by the Commission: subjects such as the lawful consequences of convergence are indeed of a major importance for the whole of the audio-visual sector.
In addition, it should be stressed that the moment is particularly favourable:
- European institutional renewal of 2014, synonymous with new initiatives to come soon;
- publication last year by the European Commission of three public consultations on key subjects for the audio-visual sector (the independence of the regulatory authorities, freedom of expression and pluralism in the mediums, as well as the Green Book about convergence) – obvious proof of the need for broaching these subjects at the European level, between regulators, but also with the European institutions;
- finally, as I pointed out it, we will be confronted soon with the prospects for recasting of the European legal instruments as regards audio-visual.
Which interaction does there exist between the CSA of each of the 28 countries of the UE, of which that of France, and European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services?
The ERGA brings together the leaders of the regulatory authorities of audio-visual of the twenty-eight Member States of the Union. The idea behind this group is not to create another structure whose role would be redundant taking into consideration already existing network: it is the first and the only gathering framework of the representatives of the audio-visual regulators of all the Member States at the decisional level.
For this reason, I would like to stress that this group is not a group of expert like the other groups created by the Commission: it does not gather representatives of the administrations of the Member States, but the leaders of the regulatory authorities. Independence will be thus the key word of our work: what one must await from a group of independent regulators, it is an independence from point of view.
Another characteristic of the ERGA is its diversity. It will be one of the large assets and a key element of its identity. Indeed, we will have to reflect and take into account the variety of our modes of regulation, and that will do nothing but enrich our work.
By offering a regular framework of meeting and exchange around subjects of shared interest, the ERGA must make it possible the regulatory authorities of audio-visual Member States of the EU to create links and a solidarity in fact, in order to coordinate their visions and to conduct joint actions in the long term.
Did the regulation at community level become obligatory at the time of the digital globalisation? Could one consider a regulator on a world level?
More pushed harmonization of the national regulations as regards audio-visual is more than ever desirable, with load for the Member States of the European Union to organize the regulation according to their traditions and specificities. A forced harmonization would be heavy and surface.
Which powers – regulation and sanction – will have this group?
The missions assigned with the ERGA are particularly wide since the group has as a mandate to work on any relative question with the services of audio-visual mediums and concerning the competence of the European Commission.
As I underlined, this group is characterized by its independence and will not hesitate to put forward its point of view by adopting declarations and joint positions aiming at making move the lines of the European regulation. It is an essential aspect for the ERGA, and more still for the Commission, insofar as the operational contribution of the group also reinforces the legitimacy of work of the Commission.
As regards CSA, which assessment do you draw from the first year of your presidency?
I rather prefer speech of report than of assessment. The CSA has to play an increasingly important economic part. It matters that it can do it in all transparency and all confidence with respect to its interlocutors, but with the permanent concern to promote their activity. The audio-visual one illustrates a certain number of basic principles for our Rule of law, but it represents also a significant portion of our economy and constitutes an essential sector for creation. The CSA must answer all these paramount requirements.
At the time of can Internet and dematerialization of the contents, which actions the CSA still carry out?
One should not underestimate the importance of the regulation of audio-visual whereas our compatriots look at television nearly four hours per day and listen to the radio nearly three hours. Moreover, these media are projected more and more in the world of Internet through their sites, the social networks and connected television. They remain the principal transmitting source. While respecting the demanding liberal design that share users and undertaken of the Net, we can take as a starting point the experience accumulated elsewhere as regards technical standards, by publicity or governance of company, in particular through the practice of self-regulation.