Vienna, 8 June 2007

The Association of Private News Agencies (APNA), comprised of 17 Members of the wider region of South East Europe (SEE), held a SEEMO meeting in Skopje, which was financed by Austrian Cooperation Eastern Europe, 1 to 3 June 2007, to discuss the situation of private news agencies across the region, including ways of enhancing cooperation. It adopted the following conclusions:

1. APNA calls on the Council of Europe, OSCE, Stability Pact and the local governments in the SEE Region to support Private News Agencies in their efforts to secure equitable access to the market and information sources in their countries.

2. APNA members have agreed to further promote their cooperation.

2.1. APNA members have agreed that each agency should place a joint logo on its Website to facilitate access to original news, photos and other content. APNA will also ask for a domain name for their Website. By 30 June 2007 the members of APNA will be informed about the results of these actions, including proposals for graphic design of the Website.

2.2. APNA members have agreed on news exchange on a daily basis to ensure that trustworthy and professionally made news of the private/independent news agencies is available to as many as possible, in the shortest possible time.

3. APNA members have agreed to promote future economic cooperation and joint a marketing approach.

4. As far as tax rates are concerned, APNA members have agreed to urge the authorities in the countries of the SEE region to ensure that news agencies have same benefits, as it should also be for print media. The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists from South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), supports APNA’s desire to protect the copy right of the Private News Agencies and will work closely with it to ensure that private news agencies receive greater support.