European Broadcasting Union: Driving Europe Into the Digital Future
EBU President Fritz Pleitgen (director general of ARD/WDR) and his four vice-presidents - Patrick de Carolis (President, France Télévisions), John Bernander (Director General, NRK Norway), Boris Bergant (Deputy Director General, RTVSLO Slovenia) and Richard Sambrook (Director of Global News, BBC) – were holding their first meeting since taking office two weeks ago.
"We are in Brussels today because we recognise the importance of the European Union for the future of public service broadcasting," Mr Pleitgen said. "We want to ensure that the EU institutions recognise the importance of public service broadcasting for the future of the European audiovisual landscape and the Lisbon goals".
Based in Geneva, the EBU is the professional association of 74 national broadcasters in 54 countries in and around Europe. It operates the Eurovision and Euroradio networks, organizes programme exchanges, stimulates and coordinates co-productions, and provides a full range of other operational, commercial, technical, legal and strategic services.
In March 2000, EU Heads of States and Government agreed in Lisbon make the European Union "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy by 2010".
Today's meeting focused on the EBU's Development Plan which aims to put public service media at the heart of the digital world. "Content is key to driving the take up of digital television," Mr Pleitgen said. "And only public service broadcasters can prevent a digital divide by ensuring that all European citizens have access to objective information and quality programming."
The EBU's Members invest 10 billion euros annually in new European TV productions. They reach more than 320 million Europeans every week on traditional radio, television and – increasingly – new media platforms.
"We call on national and European authorities to put in place regulatory frameworks which have caught up with the new technologies, and recognise the vital role of public service broadcasters in providing quality content on all significant new platforms," Mr Pleitgen said.
Contact: David Lewis, EBU Spokesman: +41 79 217 0922 or firstname.lastname@example.org