BH journalists: Konaković’s statement is contrary to EU standards of political independence of PBS

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Source/Author: BHJA

The Board of Directors of the BH Journalists Association (BHJA) and the Helpline for Journalists consider as professionally unacceptable and politically harmful the statement of Elemedin Konaković, President of People and Justice (NiP) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), that the solution to the crisis in the public information system is only possible when two public services – FTV and BHRT, will have “management that will work according to the dictates” of the parties gathered in the ruling coalition “Troika”.

In a statement at the press conference, held on Friday, February 9 in Sarajevo, Konaković made it clear that his political involvement in solving the problem of collecting the RTV tax for BHRT and FTV was not about saving them from financial ruin and helping journalists and other employees. to receive earned salaries, but a targeted attempt to impose political control and create assumptions for the work of these media in the interest of the “Troika” parties, not all citizens of BiH.

The Board of Directors of BH Journalists reminds us that Konaković, in the capacity of the President of NiP and/or the various public functions he held, has shown an elementary ignorance of media freedoms and the standards of freedom of expression for years. So far, he has targeted journalists dozens of times and questioned their safety and dignified work, using political manipulations and even institutional pressures. This time he went one step further – he brutally and politically attacked public services, demonstrating a complete ignorance of the EU values of the public information system, within which political independence and work in the public interest are at the very top.

The Governing Board of BHJA assesses the latest statement by Minister Konaković as absolutely unacceptable and harmful to the European path of BiH, since the protection of public information and the political independence of public services (in addition to media freedom and the safety of journalists) are among the 14 conditions that the state must fulfill in order to get the opportunity open negotiations on EU integration. In this context, the Board of Directors of BH Journalists demands from the Council of Ministers of BH and the Parliamentary Assembly of BH that the resolution of the crisis in the collection and legal distribution of the RTV tax in both BH entities be returned to the institutions of the system. The Council of Ministers and the State Parliament must stop any attempt at “political trading”, accepting “compromise” or adopting any solutions that will reduce freedom of expression and the right of citizens to access public and plural sources of information as fundamental democratic values!

The Governing Body of BHJA appeals to the Delegation of the European Union and all other international actors in BH not to allow or support any political agreements and calculations that will enable BH politicians and parties in power to sacrifice public information, as well as media freedom in general, for the sake of obvious “hurry” in fulfilling the last conditions for obtaining approval and the start of negotiations on EU integration.

Board of Directors of the Association/BH Journalists Association