European Commission report: BiH has made no progress in the area of media and protection of journalists

Source/Author: BHN

SARAJEVO, 08.10.2020. – In 2020, Bosnia and Herzegovina has made no progress in guaranteeing freedom of expression and the media and protecting journalists by ensuring an adequate judicial response to threats and violence against journalists and media workers, and ensuring the financial sustainability of the public broadcasting system. BiH for 2020.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is at an early stage of preparations in the area of information society and media. No progress was achieved in implementing the last year’s recommendations. The legislation and strategic framework are not in place and not aligned with the EU acquis.

Regarding electronic communications and information and communication technology, the country made no progress in adopting a new law on electronic communications and electronic media in line with the 2018 EU regulatory framework.

The Communications Regulatory Agency still lacks financial independence and no efforts were made to improve the procedure for appointing its management to ensure full political independence, the EC report states. No progress has been made in adopting legislation on media ownership transparency, including a register of ownership structures, as well as legislation on advertising in the media.

The three public service broadcasters remain exposed to strong political influence, in particular through politically controlled steering boards, with a worrying trend of selfcensorship. The country has not introduced a suitable model to collect broadcasting fees that would ensure the public broadcasting system’s financial sustainability and political independence. The Public Services Broadcasting Corporation, as prescribed by the respective law, is yet to be established. The financing of local public broadcasters from the public budget also needs to be brought in line with the EU acquis, as it constitutes State aid and provides opportunities for political pressure and influence.

The full report is available HERE.