By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
In Brussels: Publishers 35 and YoungerAfter being on hiatus for two years during the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Federation of European Publishers this week (June 14 to 16) will stage its Young Publishing Professionals fellowship program in Brussels.
The program is still young, itself. It opened in 2019, only to be forestalled in 2020 and 2021 by the pandemic, of course. This week’s edition is only its second outing, and the organization of the fellowship is a collaboration with Aldus Up.
The federation describes its intention with its program as being “to inspire and engage young publishing professionals” from member-nations of the federation, “involve them in the overall European idea and the defense of industry values, such as freedom of expression and freedom to publish.”
In practice, one of the most valuable elements of the program is its ability to help the fellows make first contacts with members of the European Parliament in Brussels. And a potential advantage both to these publishers’ markets and to the federation is that it’s a way, as the program’s information puts it, to “find the next generation of publishing professionals to support national and FEP’s advocacy work in the future.”
In this week’s group, two Ukrainian publishers are expected to be part of the program. They’ll be meeting colleagues from Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain.
From these nine countries, there are 13 total participants, and the focal theme this year is sustainability in publishing. And in this context, that’s very much built around the publishing industry’s need to work with policy makers and government leaders to sustain and grow in any market or group of markets.
What sets this program apart from so many fellowships that engage participants in the business and its operation is that this one is outward-looking, giving participants a chance to learn and understand the relationships publishing has–and needs–to function in relation to the state. The federation, of course, is uniquely positioned to provide these insights because its own mission is built around guidance and advocacy in relation to the EU, the EC, and European affairs.
Projected Program for June 14 and 15
Day 1, June 14
- A lunchtime meeting in Brussels
- Opening remarks by Peter Kraus vom Cleff, president of the Federation of European Publishers and CEO of Germany’s Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels
- A presentation, “Legislation Affecting European publishers in the European Union” with Gianpaolo Scacco, cultural policy officer at the Directorate General [for] Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
- A presentation, “The Opportunities of the Creative Europe Program” with Arnaud Pasquali, program manager for the book sector in cooperation with the European Education and Culture Executive Agency on program implementation and development
- A presentation on the Möbius Project, which is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 program and aims to “modernize the European book publishing industry by remodeling the traditional value chains and business models”
- A federation presentation on sustainability
- A dinner in which the Young Publishing Professionals participants meet the federation’s team and members with the Cultural Creators Friendship Group
Day 2, June 15
- A meeting at the federation’s offices with a presentation from vom Cleff about the organization’s activities
- A visit to the European Parliament
- An exchange with Committee on Culture and Education commissioner the Commissioner Thierry Breton
- Meetings with members of the European Parliament
- A dinner in which the Young Publishing Professionals participants meet with representatives from European Union institutions and trade associations
We should note that the second day’s programming at parliament is enabled by invitations from members of parliament Laurence Farreng and Sabine Verheyen, who is the chair of the Committee on Culture and Education.
The way the program is structured, travel and accommodation costs are split between the federation and each participant’s publishers’ association. FEP also covers the cost of dinners and lunches.
An account of the 2019 program by Enrico Turrin for Aldus Up goes into some detail for those interested.
More from us on the Federation of European Publishers is here, more on fellowship programs in publishing is here, more on issues of sustainability is here, and more on publishing and the book business in Europe is here.
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More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.