Dr. Blerjana Bino Highlights Threats to Democracy at Policy Development Forum

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Source/Author: Blerjana Bino
Source/Photo: Blerjana Bino

 

Tirana – Dr. Blerjana Bino, our researcher, recently attended the Policy Development Forum on the Threats to Democracy organized by the International Republican Institute (IRI) held in Tirana. During her intervention at the panel on “Silencing and Intimidating the Messenger: Attacks on Media Freedom in the Western Balkans,” Dr. Bino emphasized the direct implications of attacks on media freedom across the region for democracy.

In her insightful address, Dr. Bino expressed concerns about the decline in public trust, shrinking public space, and the inability to hold power to account due to these attacks. As media freedom is essential for the effective functioning of democracy, any infringements on this freedom are perceived as threats to the democratic process itself.

The panel on media freedom was part of the Western Balkans Task Force on Threats to Democracy held in Tirana, which focused on the rocky road of democratization in the Balkans. The event was organized by the International Republican Institute (IRI), a reputable organization dedicated to promoting democracy and enhancing civic participation worldwide.

The gathering brought together policymakers, experts, and researchers who contributed valuable insights and perspectives on the challenges faced by democratic systems in the Western Balkans. By exploring the threats to democracy, participants aimed to devise effective strategies to mitigate these challenges and strengthen the region’s democratic institutions.

The discussions delved into various issues, including the importance of safeguarding media freedom, as attacks on journalists and media outlets weaken democratic foundations. By silencing and intimidating the messenger, those in power can limit transparency, hinder accountability, and erode the public’s trust in democratic processes.

As the world progresses towards an era of digital communication and rapid information exchange, protecting journalists and media outlets becomes increasingly vital. By defending media freedom, societies can ensure an open and inclusive space for dialogue, critical thinking, and holding power to account.

This meeting served as a platform for important conversations and collaboration among experts committed to strengthening democratic principles in the Western Balkans. By acknowledging the challenges faced by the region, policymakers and stakeholders can work together to foster a resilient democracy, ensuring a brighter future for the people of the Balkans.

As the discussions at the Tirana event concluded, it became evident that concerted efforts are required to protect media freedom, address threats to democracy, and create an environment conducive to open dialogue in the Western Balkans and beyond.