04.03.2015 17:47



Ross Biggam

After studying law at Exeter and Saarbrücken, Ross Biggam worked as Legal Adviser to the House of Lords EU Select Committee before joining ITV, the leading television channel in the UK, where he ended up as Head of European Affairs. In April 2000, he moved to Brussels to become Director General of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) which represents 33 media companies active in 37 European countries and encompasses several business models, from free-to-air television broadcasters to multimedia groups and digital TV platforms operators. The ACT is consulted on a regular basis by the Community Institutions on all questions impacting on the future of the audio-visual sector in Europe, in particular with regard to digital TV, copyright, state aid and media regulation including the AVMS directive'.

Lorena Boix Alonso 

Lorena Boix Alonso is the Head of Unit for Converging Media and Content Unit, Directorate General for Communications Networks Content and Technology. Formerly, she was Deputy Head of Cabinet of Vice President Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. During Ms Kroes' mandate as Commissioner for Competition, Lorena Boix Alonso commenced in October 2004 as a member of her Cabinet and became Deputy Head of Cabinet in May 2008. She holds a Master of Laws, with a focus on Antitrust Law and Intellectual Property, from the Harvard Law School. She graduated in Law from the University of Valencia (Spain) and then obtained a Licence Spéciale en Droit Européenfrom the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She joined the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition in 2003. Prior to that, she has worked for Judge Rafael García Valdecasas, at the European Court of Justice, as well as Deputy Director and Legal Coordinator of the IPR-Helpdesk Project and in private practice in Brussels.

Marcel Boulogne

Marcel Boulogne has a masters degree in law from Leiden University (specialisation in intellectual property law). After his law studies at Leiden University, Marcel Boulogne worked as a trade mark attorney in The Hague from 1994 to 1998. In 1998, he joined the Opposition Division of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade marks and designs) in Alicante (Spain). He joined the European Commission – the "Audiovisual and Media policies Unit" - in 2003 where he first coordinated the work of the Content Online team. He is currently Head of Sector "Audiovisual Media Services", responsible for the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive in the unit "Converging Media and Content".

Maja Cappello 

Maja Cappello joined the Observatory as Head of the Department for Legal Information in 2014. She previously worked for the Italian regulator AGCOM from 1998 and was Head of AGCOM’s Digital Rights Unit of the Media Services Directorate. She was also Vice President of EPRA (European Platform of Regulatory Authorities) from 2011 to 2014. Italian-Norwegian mother tongue, she deals with audiovisual regulatory issues at European level, both contributing to international conferences and committees, and participating as expert in EU and Council of Europe cooperation projects. She is author of articles and speeches in the areas of audiovisual media services, media pluralism, copyright and consumer protection and holds an LLM in EU law and a PhD in European social law after graduating in Law in 1994. She has been lecturing in Media law at University level (Bachelor, Master and PhD) since 2001.

  Sheila Cassells 

Sheila Cassells is the founding Director of Cassells Consulting Associates, specialists in media and media technology policy and regulation. Sheila was a member of BSkyB’s top 100 leadership team and the senior executive responsible for a broad range of EU policy matters, covering technology, spectrum, copyright, content, piracy, the environment, taxation and employment. Whilst at Sky Sheila established and chaired the Digital Interoperability Forum. Through DIF Sheila co-chairs, with the European Broadcasting Union, the Forum for Advanced Media in Europe (FAME, previously the European High Definition Forum (EHDF), established at the request of the European Commission to assist the introduction of HD TV and other advanced media in the EU. She also co-chaired, with the EBU, bmco Forum, and GSM Europe, the European Mobile Broadcasting Council, set up by the Commission to identify the criteria required for the development on mobile broadcast TV in Europe. On 1 February 2011 Sheila was appointed as Executive Director of AEPOC, Europe’s audiovisual anti-piracy trade association. In 2002 Sheila was appointed by KU Government Ministers as the Deputy Chair of the UK’s Digital Television Action Plan Stakeholders Group, the body created to prepare the UK for digital switchover. In January 2010 she was appointed Chair of the Registered Digital Installers Licensing Board, a government-sponsored body focussed on improving the skills base of the installation industry. Prior to joining Sky, Sheila established the Independent Television Commission’s economics and competition function and was its Director of Economic Regulation (and Finance). Sheila was educated at Edinburgh University, Queen’s University, Canada, University College London and the City University Business School.

  Ingvil Conradi Andersen

Ingvil Conradi Andersen currently serves as a senior adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in Vienna. She is an expert in media law, and worked for several years as a senior adviser in the Norwegian Media Authority. From 2011-2013 she served as a deputy district court judge before she got admitted to the Norwegian Bar Association and joined a law firm. She holds an LL.M in Intellectual Property Law from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, New York City.

  Susanne Fengler

Susanne Fengler, PhD, professor of international journalism at the Institute of Journalism and director of the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism, TU Dortmund University, director of the MediaAcT project. Research interests: comparative journalism studies, political journalism, development communication, economic theory of journalism.

  Nicola Frank 

Nicola Frank is Head of European Affairs, and Head of EBU Brussels office. Nicola Frank started her career in the European Commission in 1990 where she was responsible for an information and communication programme towards the Mediterranean and the Near and Middle East.In 1996 she joined Media and Entertainment International, the international federation of media and entertainment trade unions, as Deputy General Secretary Nicola Frank was born in 1963. She took an M.A. in Islamic Studies, Modern History and French Literature. She worked as a freelance radio journalist during her studies.

Steve Gettings

Steve Gettings is Director of International Affairs, having worked at Ofcom for 8 years in several strategy and market monitoring roles. He has also been a project director on a range of high-profile initiatives at Ofcom, including offering advice to government on media plurality, the Communications Market Report and the International Communications Market Report.  Prior to joining Ofcom, he worked in strategy roles at the BBC and Teachers’ TV.  He began his career in economic regulatory consulting at Oxera and PWC.

Silvia Grundmann 

Silvia Grundmann works for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as Head of the Media and Internet Governance Division in the Information Society Department of the Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law. She holds both German law degrees with distinction, followed by a Master of Common Law from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and she passed the New York State Bar Exam. For her PhD thesis at the University of Hamburg, she analyzed competition laws in the U.S. and the EU concerning the airline industry. Silvia worked as a lawyer in private practice in Brussels, Washington D.C. and Düsseldorf. In 1998 she became a judge and in 2001 a professor at a University of Applied Sciences in Germany where she stayed until 2004, when she joined the Council of Europe’s department for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. She worked as an advisor for the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights from 2007 until 2013, when she joined the Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law.

  Chris Hutchins 

Mr. Hutchins is Vice President of European Policy for Liberty Global, the largest international cable company with operations in 14 countries. Liberty Global’s consumer brands include Virgin Media, UPC, Ziggo, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, Telenet and VTR. Chris leads a Brussels based team responsible for policy development, advocacy and guidance to Liberty Global and its affiliates on European and EU regulatory issues including on network regulation, net neutrality, internet policy, and media and interoperabilty regulation. He is also responsible for directing Liberty Global’s engagement with EU policy makers, regulators and industry stakeholders at a European and EU level. He also directs Liberty Global’s policy work at Cable europe, in which he serves as chairman of their European regulatory group. Chris has held several regulatory and public position within Liberty Global and its predecessor companies since joining them in 2000. He began his career at Burson Marsteller, the global public affairs consultancy, before joining DG Employment Affairs of the European Commission in a press and information capacity. Mr. Hutchins holds a BA degree in Politics from Loughborough University, a post-graduate diploma in EC competition law from King's College London, and in LLM in telelcommunications and IT law from Strathclyde University.

  Klaus Illgner-Fehns 

Dr. Klaus Illgner-Fehns was appointed managing director of IRT, the Institut für Rundfunktechnik, the research institute of the public broadcasters in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in November 2004. He earned a doctorate from RWTH Aachen with a thesis on "Scalable Video Coding" and subsequently worked for Texas Instruments on image processing for digital cameras and later with Siemens AG on multimedia communications in heterogeneous networks. Dr. Illgner is member of the board or steering group of various national and international bodies and consortia, including HbbTV.

Antoine Larpin

Antoine Larpin is Manager for International Affairs at Panasonic. Antoine deals with European and national policy developments in the field of consumer affairs and ICT-related technical and regulatory issues. In addition, Antoine is Chair of the Consumer Policy Working Group of DIGITALEUROPE. He is issue leader on Connected TV in DIGITALEUROPE. He has been Vice-Chair of the ICT Taskforce of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (2008-2012). Prior to joining Panasonic, Antoine has developed expertise in public affairs at both national and EU level. He has sound experience in the fields of Information Society, New Technologies, and Telecoms having advised a broad range of organisations in this sector. His experience includes working at the French Assemblée Nationale, EDiMA, the European Digital Media Association, and FTI Consulting.

  Egils Levits

Born 1955 in Riga; graduated in law and in political science from the University of Hamburg; Research Assistant at the Faculty of Law, University of Kiel; Adviser to the Latvian Parliament on questions of international law, constitutional law and legislative reform (1991-1992); Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to Germany and Switzerland (1992-93), Austria, Switzerland and Hungary (1994-95); Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Justice, acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (1993-94); Conciliator at the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration within the OSCE (from 1997); Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (from 2001); elected as Judge at the European Court of Human Rights in 1995, re-elected in 1998 and 2001; numerous publications in the spheres of constitutional and administrative law, legal theory, law reform and European Union law; Judge at the Court of Justice since 11 May 2004.

Emmanuelle Machet

Emmanuelle Machet is Coordinator of the Secretariat of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA), a network aiming at promoting the exchange of information and best practices between 52 broadcasting regulators from 46 European countries. The EPRA Secretariat relocated in Strasbourg in December 2005 and is hosted by the European Audiovisual Observatory. As the EPRA Secretary, Emmanuelle is responsible for the content-related aspects and the organization of the two yearly meetings of the platform. She is also in charge of ensuring the smooth functioning and development of the network as well as an efficient exchange of information between members in-between meetings. Further to a degree in media law at the University of Poitiers (France) and a post-graduate course in European Studies at the University of Aachen (Germany), she started her career in 1996 as researcher with focus on European media regulation and policies at the Düsseldorf-based European Institute for the Media. She has been Secretary to the EPRA since 1996 and started working full-time for the EPRA from 2002 onwards."

Elisabeth Markot

Elisabeth Markot is Policy Officer at the European Commission in Brussels, with emphasis on media convergence and Connected TV. Since 2005, she has actively engaged with such relevant media and telecommunications issues as internet governance, audiovisual and media policies and, since the reorganisation of the INFSO executive board into CNECT, has focused on convergence.

Toms Meisītis

Toms Meisītis has been working for Lattelecom – leading ICT company in the country – for the last 16 years, since 1999. He is responsible for Legal and Regulatory function of Lattelecom since 2011. Lattelecom (http://lattelecom.lv/en/) is the largest pay TV services provider in the Baltic countries, fixed broadband services market leader in Latvia, offering wide range of integrated ICT services to private and corporate customers (including BPO, ITO, network construction and maintenance). Lattelecom also offers the first Tier III certified data centre services to the customers in and outside Latvia, as well as provides the largest network of free WiFi spots across the country. Toms Meisītis is also member of the Supervisory Council of SIA Latvijas Mobilais Telefons – country’s leading mobile telecommunications company – since 2007, as well as the Chairman of the Public Advisory Board at the National Electronic Media Council since 2013. He is also expert and member of the leading industry NGO –the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association (LIKTA). Especially during the last 5 years, Toms Meisītis has acquired extensive knowledge and experience in practical aspects and regulatory framework of telecommunications and media industry, consistently and actively participating in various debates, law making process, public affairs and industry processes.


  Andris Mellakauls

Having worked for Time-Warner in the UK for 15 years, in 1995 Andris moved to Latvia to be the Warner Music Europe consultant in the Baltic States tasked with finding or helping to establish suitable distribution companies for WM products. In 2001 he was elected by parliament to the National Broadcasting Council. Having served the maximum two terms, in 2009 he became adviser to the Minister of Culture on media policy until 2012 when he was asked to head the ministry’s Information space integration division. Andris is a former vice-chair of the EPRA and chair of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and New Communications Services and its successor, the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society. He holds a master’s degree in Public International Law and Human Rights.

Siada El Ramly

Siada El Ramly is the Director General of EDiMA – the European association representing online platforms. She has extensive experience in European public affairs and in particular experience in the European Digital sectors- having worked for the hardware and software industries in the past. Before joining EDiMA Siada was Secretary General of the European Software Association, Director of the AHIMA global services office as well as Senior EU Affairs Manager at Digital Europe. Siada has furthermore worked for the content sector and the healthcare sectors. She also set up her own consultancy company that provides public affairs, association management and strategic advice to interest groups. Siada holds an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - University of London and a BA in Political Science – specialising in International Relations from the American University in Cairo.

  Alexander Scheuer

Attorney at law, General Manager, Member of the Executive Board of the Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrucken/Brussels (2000 to date). Scheuer is a member of the Advisory Committee and of the IRIS Editorial Board, both at the European Audiovisual Observatory. Since 2003 he has been member of the Scientific Advisory Board (Kuratorium) of the Voluntary Self-Regulation of Private Televisions in Germany (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen, FSF), Berlin. Scheuer has been responsible for several major studies in the area of media and telecommuniations law, commissioned, at European level, i.a. by the European Commission (co-regulation; media market definitions), the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, and the Council of Europe, as well as, at the national level, by different media authorities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He has published widely on European media, telecommunications, protection of minors and copyright law.

Francesco Sciacchitano

Francesco Sciacchitano is a senior lawyer of AGCOM, the Italian communications regulatory authority. In his 14 years of experience in the regulator, Mr Sciacchitano has worked in both the audio-visual and the electronic communications sectors, contributing to the draft of various pieces of regulation related to the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and the Electronic Communications Framework in Italy. He has also been involved –inter alia- in the analysis of the impact of convergence of media in the communications market, in the digitization of the Italian broadcasting sector, in the enforcement of AGCOM decisions.Since 2005, Mr. Sciacchitano has also been involved in the international activities of AGCOM, taking the responsibility of the Twinning projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Tunisia, chairing the M2M working group of BEREC, being appointed Member of the Permanent Secretariat of the EMERG and representing AGCOM in several international conferences and expert groups, such as the ERGA working group on independence of the NRAs. During this period, Mr. Sciacchitano has been the author of several reports on the legal and regulatory frameworks of the communications sector in the partnering Countries, focusing in particular on the fields of convergence of media, Universal Service, consumer protection, licenses and general authorization, enforcement powers and independence of the regulators. In addition to his working experience, Mr. Sciacchitano has also been awarded the honors at the completion of the MBA taken at the St. John’s University in New York, has studied at the London School of Economics and has concluded a Master in Italian Administrative Law in the University of Roma Tre. He has also been involved as lecturer in several post graduate courses at the LUISS Guido Carli Business School and at the St John's University, Rome Campus.

Tobias Schmid

Tobias Schmid has been Head of Media Policy at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland since January 2005 and Executive Vice President Governmental Affairs at RTL Group since September 2010. From 2005 - 2012, he was appointed Chairman of the Television Dept. and Vice-President of the German Association of Commercial Broadcasters and Audiovisual Services (VPRT), before he became Chairman of the Board of the VPRT in November 2012. As General Counsel at Home Shopping Europe AG (plc) from 1999 to 2004, Tobias Schmid was responsible for Law and Media Policy, HR, Internal Auditing and Public Relations. After finishing his Law degree and obtaining his PhD in Law at Heidelberg and Freiburg University, Tobias Schmid spent his internship in Berlin.

Tim Suter

Tim Suter established Perspective Associates in January 2008 offering specialist advice on strategic media policy and regulation to clients in broadcasting and media companies, government, and regulatory authorities in the UK and internationally. His work has included leading an expert group for the Council of Europe on the Governance of Public Service Media, chairing and expert group considering the future remit, funding and governance of Public Service Media for the EBU, and acting as special advisor to a Select Committee in the UK’s House of Lords considering media pluralism. He contributed to the study into the independence of Regulatory Authorities commissioned by the European Commission and led by the Hans Bredow Institut of Hamburg. He advises internationally on the establishment and governance of regulatory authorities and public service media organisations. In 2014 he was appointed a member of the independent Press Recognition Panel, the body set up by Royal Charter to ensure the highest standards of independence and integrity in the self-regulatory authorities established by the UP press. In 2003 he was a founding Partner in the UK’s media and communications regulator, Ofcom, responsible for all aspects of content regulation. Among the issues he handled was the reform of the rights framework for the independent production sector, an intervention widely acknowedged to have been the catalyst for the significant growth of the sector over the last decade.Tim started his media career in the BBC, where over fifteen years he was variously a producer of drama and documentary, a reporter and senior editor of news and current affairs programmes. In 1999 he joined the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as a specialist advisor to the Secretary of State, before being appointed Head of Broadcasting Policy, overseeing the 2003 Communications Act and the creation of the newly converged regulatory body, Ofcom. 

Henrik Toremark

Henrik Toremark is Group Head of Public Affairs at MTG. MTG is an international broadcaster and entertainment group. The operations of MTG include TV channels and platforms, online services, content production and radio stations. Henrik Toremark has a background in politics, communication and PR. Before taking up his present position, he was deputy State Secretary in the Swedish Ministry for Culture and he has also been a political advisor in the Swedish Ministry of Finance and in the European Parliament. For a number of years, Henrik Toremark has worked as a Senior Consultant in Public Relations and Public Affairs.

  Peggy Valcke

Peggy Valcke is research professor ICT and media law at ICRI / CIR - KU Leuven, part-time professor at the European University Institute in Florence and visiting professor at the University of Tilburg. In 2006, she was visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She is ICRI’s research leader within the Security Department of iMinds. Peggy has a broad experience with working in international and interdisciplinary research teams. In previous years she has been involved in over 30 research projects – funded by the European Commission, KU Leuven, Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders, the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology, iMinds, national authorities and regulators – dealing with legal aspects of IT and media innovation. In 2008-2009, she served as project leader for the EU funded study “Indicators for Media Pluralism in the Member States – Towards a Risk-Based Approach”. Other topics she worked on include: fundamental rights of the digital citizen, data protection and media freedoms, data portability, right to be forgotten, big data, media convergence, social media, personalized media, user-generated content, online journalism, media concentration and ownership, market regulation and competition in media and telecommunications, public service broadcasting and state aid, co- and self-regulation in the media, privacy in electronic communications and social networks. She has published widely on these topics in English, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian and Chinese, and has served as an expert for organisations like the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the German Media Concentration Commission, as well as administrations and authorities in Belgium. Peggy is assessor of the Belgian Competition Authority and member of the General Chamber of the Flemish Media Regulator since 2008. She was a member of Google’s Advisory Council on the Right to be Forgotten and is currently a member of Digital Minds for Belgium, a working group convened by Belgium’s Minister for Telecommunications and Digital Agenda (A. De Croo).

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga is President of the World Leadership Aliance Club of Madrid (2014-  ). As President of the Republic of Latvia 1999-2007, she has been instrumental in achieving membership in the European Union and NATO for her country. She is active in international politics, was named Special Envoy to the Secretary General on United Nations reform and was official candidate for UN Secretary General in 2006. She remains active in the international arena and continues to speak up in defense of liberty, equality and social justice, and for the need of Europe to acknowledge the whole of its history. In December 2007 she was named vice-chair of the Reflection group on the long term future of the European Union (2007-2010). Chair of the high-level group on Freedom and Pluralism of the Media in European Union, established by the vice-president of the European Commission (2011-2012). She is also known for her work in psycholinguistics, semiotics and analysis of the oral literature of her native country.