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New CSA chief outlines priorities

Roch-Olivier Maistre, named as French president Emmanuel Macron’s favoured candidate to replace Oliver Schrameck as president of media regulator the CSA, has been confirmed in his post after having been interviewed by the cultural affairs committees of the country’s national assembly and senate.

Roch-Olivier Maistre

Interviewed by deputies on the assembly’s committee on Tuesday, Maistre said that he was open to a closer link between the media watchdog and the Hadopi, the commission tasked with fighting internet piracy in France, but that he was not in favour of a merger of the CSA with telecom regulator ARCEP or data protection agency CNIL.

Maistre also said he was favourable to the creation of a closer working relationship between the Hadopi and the CNIL to fight piracy and help ensure conditions that are favourable to content creation.

Yesterday, Maistre told the senate committee that one of his main tasks would be to oversee the extension of the CSA’s remit to cover regulation of social media networks and digital platforms. He told senators that “the world has completely changed and we are in a complete new era with player that have come in to compete with historic actors. We will therefore need to extend the reach of regulation to adapt to this new era.”

Maistre comes to the CSA as the French government is preparing a new audiovisual law that is predicted to extend media regulation to cover social media networks.

Maistre’s appointment was confirmed by the assembly committee by 37 votes to one and unanimously by the senate committee.

Maistre, who has held a number of senior government positions in the culture and media sphere, was named by Macron as his preferred candidate to replace Schrameck, who is coming to the end of his five-year term, on January 18.