Opening the General Assembly, EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot highlighted the many challenges of the Union and the tough decisions that lie ahead: Project Athena on the future operating strategy of the EBU; the new sports rights strategy; and the need to refocus and increase value for Member services which remain the 'raison d'être' of the organization.
The President stressed the need for a strategic review of Member services post the current Vision2020 strategy. The outcomes from this Assembly and the upcoming Winter Assembly will form the basis upon which the EBU, under its new Director General, and Members can develop a common understanding of the Union's strategic vision beyond 2020.
Philippot thanked the outgoing Director General, Ingrid Deltenre, for the excellent work she had done since she came into office; steering the organization skilfully across many hurdles and modernising it to better respond to Members' needs while meeting the challenges of a rapidly evolving media environment.
The new Director General Noel Curran was introduced by the President and the Chair of the Personnel Committee, Cilla Benkö. In his welcome speech, he said he looked forward to working with Jean-Paul, the EBU team and Members from all regions to understand and effectively respond to their different needs and challenges: "I firmly believe the EBU offers real value for Members. But it is up to us to find new and concrete ways of showing Members the value they receive in terms of the range of content and services that they have access to", he said.
Refocusing Member services and finding new ways of increasing value will be the cornerstone of a wide-ranging strategy, both inward and outward looking, that will be formulated with Members next year.