General

Published | 20 October 2017

ePrivacy Regulation: LIBE vote jeopardizes the digital future of the press in Europe

Brussels, 20 October 2017 – The Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties has adopted with a weak majority the report of Mrs. Marju Lauristin (Socialist, Estonia) on the draft Regulation on ePrivacy. Despite strong diverging views expressed by the largest political group in the European Parliament, the compromise amendments put forward by the rapporteur seriously put at risk the future viability of many press titles in Europe, due to a very dogmatic approach which has not considered the reality of the European digital market.

ENPA President Carlo PERRONE stated: “The European Parliament and the Council should not follow this approach which would empower even further the US technological giants by giving them full control over consumers’ data. This is in total contradiction with the interest of European citizens and against a free, independent and pluralistic press in Europe.”

EMMA President Xavier BOUCKAERT stated: “The adopted compromises are putting European citizens in hostage by imposing default privacy settings that would prevent them from accessing freely to journalistic content. This is a complete failure of this vote which goes against the possibility for our readers to decide for themselves which information they want to access or not and under which conditions.”

In view of the vote in plenary session, ENPA and EMMA urgently call on MEPs to reject the mandate for the trialogue negotiations and instead allow for a true and transparent democratic debate that could ensure a balanced approach for the protection of citizens and their democratic values, including freedom of the press and their right to access to information.

On this issue, ENPA and EMMA have continuously raised concerns on the effect of the draft Regulation on the press sector and on citizens: 

The draft Regulation will strengthen even further gate-keepers: by preventing the use of cookies on press websites at the browser’s installation, the EU legislators will consolidate the dominance of only few technological players which will have a total control of the whole EU data market. This will de facto exclude European smaller and medium digital players, therefore affecting EU competition.

Individual users’ privacy will not be better protected: on the contrary, the EU legislators will force citizens’ choice towards log-in business models which are much more privacy invasive. It would give the illusion of a higher protection but in fact, users will be asked for giving even more personal data than cookies actually do.

Media pluralism and access to information will have no future: the draft regulation will prevent readers from enjoying free access to a large variety of professional journalistic content, as free access can no longer depend on the acceptance of cookies. Since most European press titles strongly depend on cookie based advertising, the regulation will impact directly at the heart of press revenues in the digital environment.

ENPA is an international non-profit organisation representing publishers of newspaper and news media on all platforms. ENPA is working on a number of areas of European policy and legislation which are essential for the effective day-to-day running of operations of local, regional and national newspapers. In a rapidly changing media environment, ENPA supports publishers with the aim of achieving a successful and sustainable future for independent news media in Europe. See www.enpa.eu

EMMA, 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. EMMA represents 15,000 publishing houses, publishing 50,000 magazine titles across Europe in print and digital. See www.magazinemedia.eu

Contact: 

Sophie SCRIVE - sophie.scrive@enpa.eu
Marie de CORDIER - Marie.DeCordier@magazinemedia.eu