Minutes of the CEE meeting in Budapest, March 12, 2001.

Members of CEE EBU regional group met in Budapest on March 12, 2001. for the regular yearly meeting, organized by Hungarian Radio (MR) and TV (MTV) at the building of Hungarian Radio from 09:00 - 17:30.

Present members were Croatia (HRT) - current group coordinator, Czech Republic (CR,CT), Hungary (MR, MTV), Poland (TVP, PR), Romania (RO/R), Russia (RTR, VOR), Slovakia (STV, SR) Slovenia (RTV SLO).

Order of the meeting:

  1. Information and discussion regarding election of the new EBU secretary general at the EBU Administrative Council on March 16th, 2001 - Meeting the EBU President Arne Wessberg, director general of YLE (Finland) who would brief the present members on the current status
  2. Information and discussion regarding election of the new EBU Directors of Departments
  3. Information and discussion regarding election of CEE representative to relevant committees at Radio (Ljubljana) and TV (Nice) assemblies.
  4. Election of the new group coordinator & current affairs

Ad 1)

After being briefed by EBU president Arne Wessber in person and EBU vicepresident Boris Bergant on the current status of the election of the new secretary general and after the lively discussion the present group members have unanimously accepted the following statement, regarding the whole election procedure:

S T A T E M E N T
(The CEE meeting, March, 12th, 2001.)

At the meeting of the Central and East European Group, that took place in Budapest, March the12-th, after deliberating the information on the EBU actual election procedure and statutes requirements its participants had agreed on the following:

  1. The existing procedure of the election of the EBU Secretary General and department Directors needs the fundamental reexamination in order to guarantee the members of the Union direct involvement in the broader and more transparent discussion of both the candidacy and their platform programmes.
  2. Taking into account the importance of the Secretary's General position, it is essential for the sake of the democratic nature of election to provide free, alternative choices.
  3. The revealing of the platform programmes should be done in advance to give the members an opportunity for their thorough examination.
  4. Running for the top management position of such a respected organization as the European Broadcasting Union is an honour for the competitors, and cannot be regarded as detrimental to anybody's professional career. The considerations of confidentiality should not gain upper hand over the fundamental principles of the democratic elections.
  5. The Group strongly believes that the position of the Deputy Secretary General should be shortly introduced to encourage and stimulate closer relationship between EBU permanent services and project groups on one side and the membership itself. The position of the Deputy Secretary General should be combined with a position of one of the directors of the departments being in working relations with European institutions.

Ad 2)

The group has three candidates that have applied to reopened position of Directors of EBU Department by deadline in February (16th): Marija Nemčić (HRT) for position of Director of TV Dpt and Stanislaw Jedrzejewski (PR) and Raina Konstantinova (BNR) for position of Director of Radio Dpt.

The present group members have agreed that at least one director post should be given to the candidate coming from CEE countries. They also agreed to request that EBU vicepresident representing CEE countries (Mr. Bergant) become a member of the election commission formed by EBU president to help select the best candidates, thus ensuring that the voice of the smaller member. Members have also agreed that procedures and deadlines for application should be respected, otherwise there are ways of manipulating the whole process.

Having in mind conclusion ad 1) and 2) the group members have stressed urgent need for modifications of EBU statute and procedures to avoid broad interpretation of the current EBU statute and procedures, which were notified in this year's elections.

Ad 3)

CEE group members should lobby to get at least seats of vicepresidents, if not even presidents in both TV and radio committees and to keep improving so far good representation of CEE countries in the committees (in last two years 2 members per committee). Special attention should be addressed to the members of these two committees appointed from the other committees, since it can further improve representation of CEE members. CEE group members should meet on the eve of the commiteee elections to coordinate names of candidates and check the votes of absent members, thus enabling joint approach to the elections.

Ad 4)

CEE group should look for possibilities of strengthening its position within EBU establishing even better connections within members itself (if necessary members are urged to rationally use EBU travel reimbursement fund established to help smaller countries to take active role in EBU organizations by covering some of travel expenses) as well as by establishing better contact with EBU members which are not organized in regional groups (Greece, Turkey, Mediterranean group - Egypt).

CEE group voted against the initiated change of current voting procedures which enables voting in absence by delegating votes to present members.

TVP insisted on better programming cooperation offering already existing ERNE project, since the programme exchange and production should be one of the primarily target of the CEE group.

CEE group supported idea of distributing existing EBU TV fund "Looking East" for this year - 2/3 to the "Golden Prague" festival in Czech Republic (Prague) and 1/3 to the "Golden Drum" in Slovenia (Portoroz). Radio members are going to initiate the procedure for establishment of the similar fund at radio dpt.

RTV SLO announced that Radio assembly would be broadcast for the first time via Internet - restricted to EBU members.

Since Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) represented by Mrs. Marija Nemcic has been CEE group coordinator it has been decided already in Lucern to appoint the new CEE group coordinator. Since in the meantime there were some proposals for amendments to the existing CEE rules, the present members have concluded the following:

  1. To establish exact number of the active CEE group members since some of the countires have not been active in the group ever since its formation (primarily Baltic countries, Moldova and Albania - some due to very bad financial satus). The current web page of CEE group (http://www.hrt.hr/cee) lists 18 country members (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine), while most of the meeting were attended by half of listed members. The current group coordinator would send an inquiry to confirm CEE group member status to general managers of all listed members and then establish the new number of reconfirmed members.
  2. Miroslav Krupicka from CR, submitted his proposal of the CEE rules amending the existing CEE rules that would be distributed along to the existing rules to the all reconfirmed group members asking for eventual suggestions to enable preparation of the new CEE rules and procedures proposal for the next group meeting in Madrid (attached to this report Appendix A and B)
  3. All reconfirmed group members will be informed of candidature of RTR, namely Mr. Konstantin Zlobin, as the new group coordinator and asked to submit their eventual candidatures, thus enabling election of the new coordinator in Madrid.

The present group members have expressed their appreciation to meeting hosts Mr. Laslo Martinak and Laslo Ovari for excellent organization of the meeting in Budapest.

Marija Nemcic, HRT
CEE Group Coordinator
info@ebu-cee.org
http://www.hrt.hr/cee

APPENDIX A
CURRENT RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE REGIONAL GROUP OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN EBU MEMBER ORGANISATIONS

1. The aim of the forming of a Regianal Group of Central and Eastern European Organisations is to exchange information and experience, to harmonise positions regarding the operation and devetopment of the EBU, a more effective implementation of specific interests of the EBU member organisations, a co-ordination of candidates and election procedures, as well as monitoring the implementation of deciaions taken. Discussion and linking on regional level ought to encourage bilateral and multilateral co-operation of the involved organisations.

2. The membership in the Regional Group of CEE Organisations is voluntary.

3. All organisations are equal.

4. Harmonisation is to be reached by consensus (: if necessary, the group can take a vote, whereby the rules and methods of voting within the EBU apply.)

5. The meetings of tho Regional Group of CEE Organisations are called in according to need, at least twice a year:

- a spring meeting of directors or heads of international relations departments in early March (with the task to formulate opinions and positions for the annual meetings of the TV, Radio and Technical Assembly and for the May meeting of the EBU Administrative Council)

- a summer meeting of directors / directors general and the directors / heads of international relations, to be held a day before the respective General Assembly.

6. The March meetings ought to be held in the member countries of the CEE regional group, whereas the meeting before the General Assembly takes place on the spot of the respective General Assembly.

7. Coordination of the activities of the CEE regional group between two meetings and the implementation of decisions taken is the task of the co-ordination committee consisting of:

- the organizer of the last plenary meeting

- the elected representatives of the CEE organizations in the Administrative Council, the TV Committee, the Radio Committee, the Technical Committee and the Presidency of the EBU.

8. The working laaguage within the group is English, the meetings of directors / directors general include, if necessary, Russian/English, English/Russian interpretation. All documcnts drafted by the group are in English.

9. The organiser of the meeting is obliged to ensure suitable working conditions. Concerning duties and rights the principle of rotation and reciprocity applies.

10. The meetings of the Regional Group of CEE Organisations are internal and confidential, if necessary experts and representatives of the EBU Permanent Service may be invited.

11. The members of the Regional Group of CEE Organisations not present at the election meeting of the EBU (General Assembly, TV, Radio and Technical Assembly) should preferably authorise their proxies from the CEE regional group to take the vote on their behalf.

12. The first rotating coordinator (March 1999-March 2000) will be HRT, Croatia.

Adopted in Zagreb, on March 16th, 1999

APPENDIX B
Proposal of CEE rules submitted by Mr. Krupicka

RULES OF THE REGIONAL GROUP OF EBU MEMBERS FROM CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE (CEE GROUP)

1. The CEE group is a free and volontary grouping of EBU members from Central and Eastern Europe.

2. The aims of CEE group are a) to harmonize members´positions towards EBU operation, development and resources policy, i.e. to look after implementation of specific interests of CEE group members within EBU, to coordinate candidates in EBU elections on all levels etc. b) to exchange and share information, experience, expertise and programmes.

3. CEE group meetings are convened a) in spring before the TV, Radio and Technical Assembly´s annual meetings and before the Administrative Council, and in summer before General Assembly. The spring meeting is held in one of CEE group member countries, the summer meeting is held at the venue of General Assembly.

b) according to needs in CEE group member countries. The principle of rotation among CEE group member countries applies in hosting the meetings.

4. At CEE group meetings decisions are reached by concensus through discussion. If necessary, the group can take a vote. Decisions are then adopted by a single majority vote of those present. Each member (i.e. EBU member organization) has one vote. Decisions taken must not contradict EBU rules.

5. The last CEE group meeting each year elects a Coordinator for the following year. The Coordinator can serve for a maximum period of three consecutive years. The main Coordinator´s task is to coordinate CEE group activities between sessions and implement CEE group policy with the help of a Coordination Commitee. The Coordination Committee consists of the last meeting´s host and of EBU elected representatives from CEE group. Other tasks of the Coordinator are to convene and chair meetings, to update the list of CEE group members and to record and distribute minutes of CEE group meetings via e-mail within one month to all CEE group members.