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MARKET MANIPULATION - A letter to Bolkestein, 13th June 2001.

Mr. Frits Bolkestein
Member of the European Commission
Rue de la Loi, 200
B-1049 Brussels
BELGIUM

By fax: 00 322 298 0799


13 June, 2001


Dear Mr. Bolkestein,

Draft Directive on market manipulation, published 30.05.2023 COM(2001) 281 final

The European PublishersÕ Council (EPC) is a high level group of Chairmen and CEOs of leading European media corporations actively involved in multimedia markets spanning newspaper, magazine, Internet and on-line database publishing; many EPC members also have significant interests in private television and radio. A list of our members is attached.

The EPC would like to bring to your personal attention our concern that proposed wording in Article 5 of the published text could lead to the introduction of special, statutory rules for the media in this field.

During our meeting on 10th May with David Wright and other officials dealing with this directive, we asked them if it had been the intention of the Commission to introduce media regulation through this directive Ð which is clearly not the primary objective of the directive, and we were told that this was not the case. At our meeting we discussed how to meet the dual objectives of exempting the media for the purposes of news reporting, information provision and analysis (i.e. journalistic purposes), whilst at the same time ensuring that any person, including journalists, would be bound by the provisions of the directive in terms of wilfully and unlawfully creating market abuse. Subsequently we proposed the introduction of a mandatory exemption for the media for journalistic purposes. This approach is consistent with the wording in the Data Protection Directive which in article 9 said that ÒMember States shall provide for exemptions or derogations from the provisions of thisÉÓ.

As you will see from the published text, article 5 says ÒMember States may decide to introduce specific provisions to cover persons acting for journalistic purposes in the normal course of the exercise of their professionÓ. We feel that this will be interpreted by Member States as an invitation to lay down special, new, statutory rules for the media rather than making an exemption, as nowhere is an exemption mentioned as an option.

On the basis of our meeting with your officials on 10th May, we do not believe that this is the intention of the European Commission and, if this is the case, we would ask you to consider making a clear and unambiguous exemption for the media in place of this current wording.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,


FRANCISCO PINTO BALSEMAO
Chairman, European Publishers Council