FEP Report of Activities 2002-2003
Fédération des Editeurs Européens
Federation of European Publishers
Report of FEP Activities
May 2002 – April 2003
Fédération des Editeurs Européens / Federation of European Publishers
204, Avenue de Tervuren - B - 1150 Brussels
TEL. 32 2 770.11.10 FAX. 32 2 771.20.71
Website : http://www.fep-fee.be
Report of FEP Activities & European Events
May 2002 – April 2003
Table of Content
Foreword from Anton Hilscher, President p.1
FEP internal news p.3
Information Society p.41
Fixed Book Prices p.55
Value Added Tax p.59
Foreword from Dr. Anton C. Hilscher, President
I am delighted to write my first foreword for the FEP report of activities. As a matter of fact, I am delighted by this first year as President; it has been extremely constructive and fruitful. From Vienna, I had never imagined that our small team in Brussels could achieve so much, and I am afraid that this is true for many of us.
Mechthild von Alemann, Anne Bergman-Tahon and Sibylle Regout, sometime assisted by a trainee, do excellently represent European publishing in Brussels. Because of their tireless efforts, they have managed with little means and resources to bring publishing and books to the centre of the European agenda.
But we could do more, much more if we could have more support from our members and from publishers and other members from the trade alike.
Let me develop this thought:
Our office in Brussels is extremely skilled and has been able to raise dramatically the profile of books and publishers in Brussels and Strasbourg. But
We need to devote more time and energy to European politics
Taking the opportunity of this editorial, I wish make a formal plea for more involvement in European affairs.
Why? Simply because if we wish to move things in our direction, we need to voice our concerns in Brussels and Strasbourg. So far, FEP office has been extremely instrumental in doing so; but we need more active involvement from the profession! We must get together and convince politicians and civil servants that for industry’ s sake it is necessary to support our sector by positive policies.
Only united can we achieve greater things! So I plead that we work together and install books as unobjectionable pivot of cultural life in Europe, both for our readers and for the authorities.
While doing so, we must also be aware of the fact that on the European level positive engagement is not always instantly visible; but if we do not voice our concerns loud and clear, if we are not visible physically at the European stage – and this goes for everyone of us – then much of our efforts will be in vain!
Vice-President Dr. J. Arne Bach and I have continued the excellent work of our predecessors. As an example, Commissioner Liikanen has just organised the second Forum of European Publishers that gathers publishers of newspapers, magazines, databases and books. This Forum creates awareness in the European Institutions about the publishing business. And to make lobbying effective, communications must go two ways: from the industry towards the European Institutions and from Brussels to our national members. Sometimes a little recognition of the European rules and ways of doing things works wonders… For effective public relations in Brussels well-known and important publishers must participate in meetings. Then we get heard.
Only if the industry mobilises itself to support FEP, then we will be able to sustain such a high profile in the European Institutions.
This is one of the objectives of my Presidency; bring Europe closer to publishers and in return, bring publishers closer to Europe.
Dr. Anton C. Hilscher
FEP from May 2002 to April 2003 …
FEP meetings in Dublin, Bruges and Paris
Despite the weather, Dublin will remain for all FEP delegates who participated in our General Assembly, as a very dear memory. Our working sessions were very productive with the adoption of a resolution of VAT on electronic books and journals. FEP delegates also warmly thanked out-going President Michael Gill for his energy and dedication to FEP and welcomed incoming President Dr. Anton C. Hilscher. The social programme was extremely pleasant with a brilliant and musical gala dinner at Dublin Castle, a wonderful trip in the Irish landscape and a lesson on Gaelic crosses by one of the most eminent specialists. Last social gathering was with Irish music and whisky. Thanks to Michael Gill, Fergal Tobin and Orla Martin, without whom this wonderful meeting could not have taken place. Also thank you to Orla’s colleague, Ruth Murphy. (24-05-02)
FEP General Assembly in Dublin unanimously accepted the membership of the publishers’ associations in Cyprus and Hungary. Congratulations to the two new members and welcomes into FEP (24-05-02)
Following the intervention of our French colleague Jean Sarzana in Dublin, SNE communicates a press release of the Cultural Diversity Group: ‘National Parliament are threatened by WTO’. According to this paper, TRIPS would mean –de factor- re-structuring national parliaments, as it would prohibit national prerogatives in the field of culture or education. (31-05-02)
The General Assembly meeting in Dublin had unanimously adopted a resolution on VAT rates for books and journals. “Having regard that any distinction between goods and services in the digital environment should be subordinated to the consistency of the social, educational and cultural purpose that the derogation in Annex H of the 6th VAT Directive is intended to fulfil, FEP delegates request that therefore equivalence of purpose should be the primary criterion”. The resolution will be sent to the EU Institutions and our trade partners and will serve as basis of both a European VAT campaign (when the Commission starts to work seriously on the revision of Annex H) and national campaigns (as the Council position will be determinant in this file). (07-06-02)
^ to our Flemish colleagues for their kind hospitality in the gorgeous city of Bruges. Starting with a most interesting FEP © Committee where we had a demonstration of the DAISY project which allows visually impaired persons to experience a near-reading experience with audiobooks, we were then invited for a drink at the bookshop De Reyghere on the Markt. The next day, the General Assembly carried a heavy agenda. Amongst other subjects participants were informed of the coming changes in the statistical nomenclature. A resolution requesting that books imported from the United States should not be subject to higher custom duties in the framework of the WTO dispute between the EU and the US (FSC) was unanimously adopted. The General Assembly also welcomed two new members: Czech Republic and Slovenia and strongly encouraged Romanian publishers’ associations to pursue membership to FEP and agreed to closely associate them to the work of FEP. (12-11-02)
Following our meeting in Bruges with the European Blind Union representatives and their demonstration of Daisy project, Maarten Verboom of the Dutch Libraries for the Blind has translated the agreement between the Dutch Publishers Association (NUV) and FNB, representing the Dutch Libraries for the Blind. NUV (Dutch PA) co-operated with FNB to make the translation possible. This agreement will be evaluated during 2003. (28-02-03)
Paris/Salon du livre
FEP met in Paris on Thursday and Friday 20 and 21 March for its Copyright Committee and Executive Committee meetings. Thanks to the hospitality of our French colleagues from the Syndicat National de l’Edition, representations of European Publishers Associations were able to combine meetings and visit to the Paris Salon du Livre including the opening evening. At its Executive Committee meeting, two resolutions were adopted: the first one endorsing an IFRRO statement on international document delivery, the second on re-use and commercialization of public sector information. The meeting was followed by a Colloquium at the Salon du Livre on the relation between private/commercial and public publishers. This colloquium, very overcrowded was a real success and most interesting and will be followed by discussions within FEP.
Thanks to Jean and Arlette for organizing the meetings with FEP. (28-03-03)
FEP meets with other trade organizations