Europe 1 is a France based privately owned radio station created in 1955. Owned and operated by Lagardere Active, a subsidiary of the Lagardere Group, Europe 1 is one of the leading radio broadcasting stations in France and its programmes can be received throughout the country.
In 1955, to circumvent the prohibition of commercial broadcasting in France after the Second World War, Europe 1 was established in the Saarland, a German state that borders France and Luxembourg. Transmissions were not legally authorised, however, until France's post-war administration of the Saarland ceased and sovereignty returned to West Germany in 1957; so, during its first two years (1955–1957), under the direction of Louis Merlin, who had defected from Radio Luxembourg, Europe 1 was a pirate radio station. In 1959 the French government bought part of the broadcasting corporation, and this interest is administered today by the Lagardere Group. All programming has always been produced in Paris. For the few parts of France who can't receive the FM signal, longwave broadcast still exists : the programme feed is transferred over ISDN lines to the transmitting station situated on the territory of the villages of Berus and Felsberg in the Saarland, Germany.