28th meeting of the Eutelsat Consultative Committee - Paris

The 28th meeting of the Consultative Committee (CC) of the European Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (Eutelsat IGO) was held in Paris on 28-29 November - the CC's first meeting since the most recent Assembly of Parties (AP), held last May. This gathering was attended by representatives of all states integrating the CC: Spain, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Poland and Switzerland. Portugal participated as an observer. Italy was also represented as an observer and simultaneously as chair of the Assembly of Parties (Franco Malerba). Spain (Laura Pérez Martos) was unanimously appointed to continue as Committee chair for a two-year mandate.

The executive secretary (ES) of Eutelsat IGO, Christian Roisse (France), reported on recent changes in the group’s management, namely the fact that the former vice-CEO, Jean Paul Brillaud, has been appointed to the Councils of Administration of Eutelsat Communications and Eutelsat S.A. Michel Azibert took over his duties and will henceforth take part in CC meetings on behalf of the operator. Jean-Martin Folz will be the group’s new CEO, replacing Giuliano Berretta, while Jean-François Bureau will take over the position of Director of International and Institutional Affairs from Yves Blanc.

The ES also informed the parties about activities that have taken place since the last AP, especially regarding supervision of the company Eutelsat S.A., whose financial situation continues to ensure the best conditions for fulfilling the Basic Principles that the IGO is responsible for monitoring.

The CC took note of the financial results for the year running from July 2010 to June 2011, during which the group's revenues grew by 12 percent to reach 1.170 billion euros. Early next summer the group should begin refinancing its debt, worth 1.765 billion euros.

Iranian interference in radio and television broadcasts by the operator Eutelsat S.A. was once again debated. The company indicated that it was not pleased by what it calls the ''lack of courage'' by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regarding what it called ''lies'' by the Iranian administration. Negotiations have currently reached an impasse. Although a meeting may soon be held by the three parties, the matter should be discussed at the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12).

Note that the second term of the current executive secretary ends at the end of June 2013; he has given some indications that he intends to seek a third consecutive term. The ES also said he would make a proposal about the salary level that should be indicated in his contract, following suggestions by Portugal with a view to making the organisation's management more transparent.

The next CC meeting has been scheduled for 12-13 March 2012.