European Magazine Media Night in Brussels impressed with highest level key note speeches

About 200 participants from the European Institutions, Europe’s magazine media and other stakeholders from across Europe attended the European Magazine Media Night on 28 February in Brussels. European Commissioner Barnier, demonstrating his support for the Berlin Declaration on the Future of the Digital Press, which EMMA launched 1 year ago, highlighted in his keynote speech four key requirements for the press and its digital future:

  • The quality of the relationship with readers. The Commissioner emphasised the need to balance data protection with freedom of expression by maintaining derogations for journalistic processing of data, as well as maintaining current direct marketing techniques to allow contact with potential readers.
  • The Internet should be a reliable and conducive platform for the development of online services. The Commissioner emphasised the importance of net neutrality and clarified that publishers cannot be asked to filter online content, with forum and blogs offered by magazines referred to as new means of democratic expression to be encouraged, not limited
  • Protect online content more efficiently (with the emphasis on the problem of aggregators and search engines which reproduce content without asking authorisation)
  • Improve the ability to enforce intellectual property rights (here the Commissioner spoke of, amongst other things, facilitating access to justice for rightholders and encouraged an inter-industry dialogue)

EMMA Chairman, David Hanger, said: “Commissioner Barnier’s comments on the future of the press reflect his good understanding of the specificities of Europe’s magazine media, which need to be reflected in upcoming EU legislation and policy development to avoid unintended consequences that could threaten publishing businesses and jobs. We hope that other EU policy and decision makers will also carefully consider the special nature of the press and reflect on the importance of media pluralism for our democratic society before making decisions on issues that will have a huge impact our sector, such as copyright, data protection, net neutrality and advertising restrictions.”

Also at the European Magazine Media Night Andrew Rashbass, CEO of The Economist Group introduced his vision for how media will be consumed differently on the many different platforms in the future and how magazine media are positioned to be a key driver in this change process.

In a panel debate aiming to introduce the Future Media Lab. think tank initiative, hosted by EMMA, editor-in.chief of Elsevier magazine, Arendo Joustra; CEO of Roularta Media and Group Express-Roularta, Rik De Nolf; VDZ’s Director of EU Public Affairs Dr. Christoph Fiedler and European Commission’s Director, Paul Nemitz (DG Justice), pointed out the key challenges on the business side that need to be understood by policy makers in order to come up with appropriate legislation for the current and future magazine media in Europe.


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 16 national associations across 13 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.