Mr President, Madam President of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Education and Communication, dear Michèle TABAROT,Mr Rapporteur, dear Pierre-Christophe BAGUET,Ladies and Gentlemen,

The newspaper dealer is an actor of the social link; he animates a place of
An irreplaceable meeting and sociability. A booth that opens or
is a new space and a chance for the exercise of the
democracy. You will have understood, the proposed law that we
I think today is a time of cultural significance and
not negligible policy: in the era of «the self» often analysed by the
works of sociologists, it is a strong signal in favor of the culture of
the writing, the closeness, which must be able to keep all their place in front of
the advent of what some call a “screen society”.

You are examining, ladies and gentlemen, a proposal for a
legislation on a subject that is at the heart of the concerns of
the press and public authorities: improving the distribution system
of print media in our country that must restore vitality
essential to a sales network serving a pluralist and

Despite the recent development of new modes of broadcasting
information on digital media, the press did not give up,
paper. It remains an essential medium for disseminating
ideas and opinions from each of our fellow citizens,
especially those who do not have access to the Internet, or all those who remain
very attached to the physical medium. The materiality of the paper poses the
economic viability of its distribution. As you know, the
is still in great difficulty despite the combined efforts of the State and
of the profession.

The decline in press sales by press broadcasters in
2010 is of particular concern. To take one example, the
sales in the daily press fell by more than 8% in
2010, compared to -5.3% in 2009. This sharp decrease is not only explained by
by the disappearance of many press headlines, hit hard by
the crisis - 37 securities disappeared in 2010 - but also by the decrease to the
the number and activity of the press outlets at the number,
In particular, specialized outlets.

After recovering in 2009, the point-of-sale network recorded
a negative balance of 455 points of sale in 2010. This decrease was
unfortunately combined with a trend towards poorer supply,
since the creations focused mainly on the points of sale
offer, whose volume of business represents in
average one-tenth of that of a specialist seller. Overall,
sales network activity is down by more than 6% all
with a stall of almost 8% for the
and a decline of -4.4% for magazines.

The continuing decline in sales only adds to the difficulties
inherent in the French system. The origins of these difficulties have been
examined in detail on the occasion of the General Press Conference
written. They are essentially related to an imbalance in the distribution
the value between the different levels of the distribution chain:
press messengers, regional depositories, and broadcasters.

As I have often had the opportunity to remind the profession, we
to pursue a proactive policy in favour of broadcasters
development remains one of the priority conditions of the
press sales recovery.

I will take as an example the exceptional state support for broadcasters
that my services are preparing to renew. Or the plan
development of kiosks, local cultural trade by
excellence, powerful tool in favor of the social bond, which led to the
signed on March 22 an agreement between the
Culture and Communication, the Higher Council of
Press (CSMP) and the Association des Maires de France (AMF). Its objective
is to create in France 300 new kiosks in three
years, for an increase of about 40%.

The upgrading of the broadcasting profession remains the priority objective of the
Government. The latter is at the heart of the relationship that publishers of
press maintain with their readers. Its role in this so singular bond,
in this true pact of reading between the press and its readers, cannot
be considered independently of the issue of the distribution of the
press as a whole.

As you said, Mr Rapporteur, the modernization of the
distribution of the press sold at the issue and its indispensable regulation
are part of the cooperative system established by the Bichet Act
April 2, 1947. This was one of the major projects of the Estates General of the
print media, held from October 2008 to January 2009.

By closing the Estates General on 23 January 2009, the President of the
Republic voted in favour of an ambitious reform of
regulatory body. The latter was to be reflected in the revision
its composition, skills and strengthening its
independence. He then asked Mr. Bruno Lasserre, President of
the Autorité de la Concurrence, to submit proposals to it.

In his report, Bruno Lasserre recommended the creation of an authority
independent administrative body in the form of a five-member
members, the only appropriate framework allowing them to exercise
effective sector regulation mission and a mission to
uncontested disputes.

In the proposed scheme, the members of the college had no link
with the interests of the sector. Professionals were not to intervene
in statutory advisory committees and groups of
work to prepare the decisions of the collegiate body. The choice of a
independent administrative authority clearly reflected an anchor of the
regulation in the public sphere, independent of both the State and the
companies concerned by regulation. If this choice represented a real
innovation for the press distribution sector, it was not
view of the regulation adopted in such different sectors
that audiovisual – through the CSA, telecommunications and postal services
– through ARCEP -, energy – through CRE - or markets
through the AMF.

However, the profession as a whole has expressed reluctance to
The Commission considered that this method of regulation was likely to destabilize
an already fragile sector. She considered it a brake on
major reforms initiated by the profession under
the aegis of the Conseil supérieur des messageries de presse (CSMP)
of the Estates General of the press.

According to the profession, the regulation of the sector by a single authority
independent administrative in which the decision-making power and
expertise that would elude publishers would not be the best
response to developments, which it considers essential, of the
cooperative distribution system of the press and its network.

Under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the
consultation between publishers and the Conseil supérieur
press messengers to define a middle way, a position
balanced, taking into account both the recommendations of the
General Statements of the Press and Recommendations of the Report.
Bruno Lasserre.

This middle route of regulation of the sector is wiser and more
respecting the balances that were at the origin of the development of the
over the past fifty years, contributing to the irrigation of
daily newspapers and magazines of information on the whole territory It is
the Commission on Culture, Education and
Communication of the Senate has proposed to follow in the proposal of
law on the regulation of the press distribution system
presented by its President, Mr. Jacques Legendre. It is also this
That is the solution you will be debating today.

It closely associates a professional college - the Higher Council of
renovated press messengers - and an administrative authority
independent, giving a precise definition of the missions and
skills of each.

It intends to respond to the profession’s desire to keep its
essential expertise on the regulation of press distribution.
It also intends to respond to the need for objective monitoring of
decisions of the professional body and arbitration of disputes by
an independent authority.

The Senate has thus arrived at a balanced text, following a broad
dialogue that has enabled all stakeholders in the sector to promote their

I would like to pay tribute to the Committee on
the education of your Assembly, which has worked to ensure that this research
the National Assembly may also be approved,
as voted by the Senate. This proposal for a vote in accordance with
Parliament’s desire to see this new organization of the
press distribution come into effect as soon as possible, without
risk being delayed by the schedule of different deadlines
political and electoral approaches.

You will have understood, ladies and gentlemen, I bring my
full support for this approach with a view to better
press distribution system, and I attach great importance
particular. Through a more efficient regulation of number selling,
we will succeed in laying the foundations for an adaptation of the
distribution to the emerging challenges of the digital economy and
real-time information.

The context of the distribution of the press has changed very significantly over the last
last weeks. The perspectives currently being debated make
all the more essential is the establishment of a renewed legal framework,
which ensures that these developments are in line with the
fundamental of the Bichet Law to which we are all attached. Nothing
in fact, this proposal does not call into question the foundations of the law,
which proclaims that "The distribution of the printed press is free" and which
gives publishers control over the distribution of their newspapers and
publications within the framework of democratic, impartial and
equity of treatment guaranteeing pluralism of information.

The CSMP, at its general meeting on 18 May 2011, validated the
proposal of its Committee on Good Professional Practice
to phase out ad valorem compensation for
press depositories by adopting a “units of works” scale,
logistics and transport missions. This new
rule for calculating the remuneration of depositaries, which seems to me
more in line with the reality of the work of these professionals, requires
to repeal the provisions of Article 11 of the Law of 27 January 1987, which
is provided for in the bill. In this way, Parliament
reorganization of the sector, which needs to upgrade the trades at each
link in the distribution chain.

In addition, the general assembly of Presstalis held on June 30
last marked a decisive turning point for the first press distributor
in France. The incumbent Lagardère, which held 49% of the capital,
announced his departure at the end of May. These are
press publishers who ensure the governance of
the company through their two cooperatives: that of magazines (75% of
capital) and daily newspapers (25%), in proportion to the
business brought to messaging. In this new framework, the CSMP
must play its role as a professional regulator.

In this period of questioning the balances governing the
over several decades, all professionals in the
press, from messengers to broadcasters and
custodians need a solid reference tool on which to rely.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the context of this proposal for a
law, it is a “balance” that I invite you to follow and consider. To my
eyes, this is neither an act of weakness, nor a proof of indecision vis-à-vis
a sector that needs our full attention. On the contrary, it is
balance and vision. It reinforces the
fair treatment of publications, preserves the principle
of cost equalization by strengthening implementation conditions
principles that guarantee equal treatment while respecting the
pluralism of the press and for the benefit of its readers. This is a decision
which thus preserves the great democratic legacies of the
Liberation; a decision that also guarantees economic development
and the ways of the future for the distribution of the press, essential medium,
if there is, for debate and democracy in this country.

Thank you.