Media Freedom in the Balkans
Welcome to the Media Freedom group and thank you for joining.
We are starting online consultation process ahead of the Civil Society Forum in July in Trieste, with the goal to open floor for discussion about challenges to media freedom in the region and to give our recommendations for improving that situation.
In short, a forum where the voice of the media and civil society could be heard.
Main issues and arguments presented in this discussion, conclusions and policy recommendations will be heard in Trieste, both by participants from the civil society sector and by political leaders gathered there.
Let's use this opportunity to debate about this highly relevant topic in the next month or so.
My name is Larisa Rankovic, I am regional monitoring and evaluation officer in the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and I will moderate our discussion.
Hoping to hear from you soon in a lively debate, I suggest that we start with general overview of what media freedom in the Balkans looks like right now.
Here is an intro from the May 2017 Council of Europe's "Media freedom trends":
"Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation." http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2017/603888/EPRS_ATA(2017)603888_EN.pdf
What do you say?
How you would in short describe media situation in your country or in the region?
Do we feel that media freedom is really a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda? What is missing?