Niiranen has served as the Vice Chair of IFRRO’s European Group for the last five years. The election of the Chair of the Group was made at IFRRO’s General Assembly in Brussels on 27 October.
“I am very happy and satisfied to have gained the trust and support of my European colleagues for this important task,” Niiranen says. “I will continue along the same lines as the previous Chairs: listening, discussing, supporting, chairing meetings and acting as a figurehead for IFRRO’s European Group.”
IFRRO is a global umbrella organisation for copyright organisations. IFRRO’s meetings and other communications provide information on best practices, legislative changes, policies and other common issues related to copyright.
“Kopiosto has been involved in IFRRO for decades: we have gained a lot of useful information about the activities of copyright organisations in other countries and contributed to legislative projects such as those ongoing in the EU,” Niiranen says.
Influencing copyright legislation at the EU level
The main task of the European Group is to support the work of the experts working at IFRRO to influence ongoing issues at the EU. Most of the lobbied issues are directly or indirectly related to copyright.
“At present, one important issue is the implementation of the Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market in the EU Member States. This is closely monitored within IFRRO, and its national implementations are compared among colleagues,” Niiranen says.
Indeed, the European Group has the most direct link to policy-making of the four regional groups in IFRRO, as it can influence directives and other policies that are binding on all EU Member States. For example, IFRRO’s Asia Pacific Committee has no such role because there is no supranational organisation like the EU in Asia.
“As Chair of the European Group, I can get right to the heart of the matter, influencing decisions, policies, emphases, declarations and views on the development of copyright legislation at the EU through a key international organisation.”
The Chair’s role is also to directly support, guide and coach IFRRO’s experts in their work.
“I want to act as a point of contact between IFRRO’s members and staff, taking and bringing requests, perspectives and news from the membership to the secretariat, so that the experts can lobby the right issues and with the right priorities,” Niiranen says.
Niiranen will serve as the Chair for three years. During this time, various copyright initiatives will be launched at the EU, including a recommendation expected next year to eradicate digital piracy from the EU Single Market.
In 2024, new Commissioners and Members of Parliament will take up office in the EU. This will highlight the role of the Chair in lobbying. Niiranen will attend various lobbying events and meetings with Commissioners, MEPs and other decision-makers to inform them about the operations and objectives of IFRRO.
Photo: Heikki Jokinen