27 September 2023

EUROPEAN UNION: Project boosts Balkans broadcasters

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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has marked the end of a European Union-funded project that has helped transform public service broadcasting in the Western Balkans.

The four-year Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans Project aimed to reinforce European standards and promote best practice for broadcasters in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

It focused on key challenges for the EBU members, helping them to achieve financial autonomy from their States and provide greater accountability to the public.

Key achievements of the project include a set of regional principles for the funding of public service media to ensure financial autonomy and accountability, and a regionally-agreed set of common principles for the governance of public service media to protect their independence.

Director General of the EBU, Noel Curran said his team had worked tirelessly to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

“Public service media organisations are facing many challenges, but the recent humanitarian crisis and the war in Europe have served to demonstrate the indispensable role they play in our society and in our democracy,” Mr Curran said.

“That’s why we need to continue to support the development and transformation of public service broadcasters into trusted, professional, and credible media and build on the achievements of the project.”

Program Manager at the European Commission, Victor Dragutan said public service media played a considerable role in the media ecosystem in the region.

“Independent public broadcasters that are able to fulfil their public service remit are the key to ensuring freedom of the media and freedom of expression as well as the proper functioning of democracy at large,” Mr Dragutan (pictured) said.

“This is fundamental for the European integration process of the Western Balkans.”

He said the EU remained committed to helping and encouraging its partners in the Western Balkans to address the challenges of building professional and independent media.

Brussels, 21 August 2022

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