[PRESS RELEASE] Ricardo Franco Levi elected President of the Federation of European Publishers

FEP members also elected the new Board for 2022-2024

The Federation of European Publishers during its General Assembly in Brussels elected Ricardo Franco Levi , President of the Italian Publishers Association (AIE), as its new President today, 4 November.

During the meeting, FEP members also voted for the new Board for the 2022-2024 mandate. Sonia Draga, the current President of the Polish Chamber of Books (PIK) and President of the eponym publishing house has been elected as Vice-President, the first woman elected to that position and according to FEP Statutes, the future President in 2024. Phaedon Kidoniatis, Representative of the Cooperation of Greek Publishers’ Associations and Founder of Eurasia Publications, as Treasurer, and Catherine Blache (Syndicat National de l’Édition, France), Sakari Laiho (Suomen Kustannusyhdistys, Finland) and Jessica Sänger (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany) were also elected as Board members.

The outgoing President, Peter Kraus vom Cleff, Managing Director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, chaired his last FEP General Assembly, held on 3 and 4 November in Brussels. Publishers attending the meeting exchanged with printers and paper manufacturers, were presented the winner of the German innovation competition ContentShift, Immer, and were briefed on the files discussed at EU level.

FEP Board 2022-2024. From left to right: Sakari Laiho, Jessica Sänger, Ricardo Franco Levi, Sonia Draga, Catherine Blache, Phaedon Kidoniatis

FEP’s outgoing President Peter Kraus vom Cleff said of his two years at the helm of the association: ‘working with European colleagues on all these important files has been extremely fulfilling these last four years, first as Vice-President and then as President. Having one voice for European publishers is key to being heard and together, we can present the case for European publishers in Europe and in the world. I wish all the best to my successor, Ricardo Franco Levi and the newly elected Board.

FEP’s incoming President Ricardo Franco Levi thanked Peter for his work: ‘following Peter Kraus vom Cleff’s and previous Presidents’ steps, I will commit to strengthen the representation of publishers at European level. I will bring my European experience and I look forward to continue having the voice of my fellow publishers heard and listened to by politicians and Commission’s officials. Books and reading are absolutely indispensable to our European democracy, and we must make sure that the EU and our national governments recognise the importance of our sector and support us through positive policies. During my Presidency, I will also pursue Peter’s endevaour to help our Ukrainian colleagues to remain a viable sector in a more than challenging and dramatic situation.’

Ricardo Franco Levi, FEP President 2022-2024.
Photo credits: Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini

The new FEP Vice-President, Sonia Draga, stated: ‘I am extremely honoured to have been elected as Vice-President of FEP. Publishers are cultural entrepreneurs. We are facing challenges as entrepreneurs as for example, the current paper crisis or the bookshops’ closures, and as cultural actors, the pressure on the exclusive rights of our authors. FEP is an extremely important instrument for all of us publishers in Europe, to represent our united views and ensure that a free publishing sector is sustainable in the future. European publishers, individually and together as a Federation, should continue to help Ukrainian publishers retain sufficient activities for their industry to survive – it is crucial for their culture, freedom and our joint European democracy. Indeed, we are living today in the world of fake news, so our role as publishers, is more essential than ever. Being the first woman being elected to that position is also significant and I am delighted that our sector is becoming more inclusive.’

Sonia Draga, FEP Vice-President 2022-2024