Media sector under the CoE and the EU spotlight

Source/Author: TUMM
Source/Photo: Photo: EU Info Centre Podgorica

Podgorica, 11/09/2017 – The European Commission and the Council of Europe will launch a comprehensive analysis of the media sector in Montenegro, whose outcome should be development of guide for defining and implementing national media policies as well as an action plan within EU accession negotiations.

An expert mission, composed of Dunja Mijatović, Snežana Trpevska, Jean-Francois Furnemont, Marc Janssen, Jelena Surčulija Milojević and Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, presented today in Podgorica methodology of the analysis and expected results.

After the initial meeting, the expert mission plans to organise meetings with all relevant stakeholders.
The Minister of European Affairs, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, said that the expert mission will have 30 meetings with 80 persons in order to examine Montenegrin media space. The project includes six Western Balkan countries and Turkey.

“We are the most advanced in the enlargement process, so it is logical that we are the first country to start with analysis,” said Pejović.

He reminded on the recent amendments to the Law on National Public Broadcasting Services – Radio and Television of Montenegro, which improved its financial independence, as well on the amendments to the Law on Electronic Media, which focused on enhancing the independence of regulators, the Agency for Electronic Media.

The EU Ambassador in Podgorica, Aivo Orav said that freedom of speech is a vital element in the EU integration process and that efforts must be made to strengthen self-regulation and the application of the Code of Conduct.

The analysis of the media sector will be completed by the end of January next year, and topics covered by the Council of Europe experts are market overview and assessment, legislative and institutional framework, public services, online media functioning, professional integrity of journalists, mechanisms for supporting media and state aid, transparency of media ownership and media concentration, as well as media self-regulation.

The analysis of the media sector is part of the project “Strengthening Judicial Expertise on the Freedom of Expression and the Media in South-East Europe (JUFREX)” implemented by the EU and the Council of Europe. The National Coordinator of this activity is the Ministry of European Affairs of Montenegro.