Statement by Culture Minister Bogdanović regarding European Commission’s report

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    Podgorica, Montenegro (19 April 2018) — Regarding the recently presented European Commission’s report, in the part relating to the media freedom, Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanović stated: “We are paying special attention to the European Commission’s report in the area of freedom of expression. For every EU candidate country, the issue of media freedom is of paramount importance, so that interest of the public and all media stakeholders in that regard is understandable and desirable…”

    Podgorica, Montenegro (19 April 2018) — Regarding the recently presented European Commission’s report, in the part relating to the media freedom, Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanović stated:

    “We are paying special attention to the European Commission’s report in the area of freedom of expression. For every EU candidate country, the issue of media freedom is of paramount importance, so that interest of the public and all media stakeholders in that regard is understandable and desirable.

    Once again, I emphasise that the Government of Montenegro is committed to strengthening the normative and institutional frameworks of media freedom, and, therefore, it has already started the drafting of the Law on Media and the Law Amending the Law on RTCG. As we have repeated on several occasions, working groups developing these legal acts are composed of representatives of media outlets, associations and NGOs.

    The aim of these laws is to further harmonise the media framework with high international standards and good practice, but also, when the Law on RTCG is concerned, to strength the independence of the Council in the process of election and appointment of members.

    I would also like to highlight that recently presented Analysis of the media sector in Montenegro, with the recommendations for harmonisation with the standards of the Council of Europe and the EU, contains most of the reasons why the Government of Montenegro has decided to amend the Media Law and the Law on RTCG.

    Considering that most of the given recommendations are already included in the draft texts of the laws, the European Commission’s report, Analysis of the Council of Europe and the drafting of the laws are seen as complementary processes in improving media freedom. These texts will certainly be the subject of a public debate and appropriate international expertise, thus opening up the space for all interested stakeholders to contribute to the development of best-quality documents.

    I also use the opportunity to reiterate once again that media freedom, in addition to rights, also implies responsibility, so we particularly took into consideration the assessment of the need for responsible self-regulation, where the European Commission states that a part of the responsibility in that regard need to be taken by the media itself and the media community,” Minister Bogdanović concluded.

    MINISTRY OF CULTURE

    Source: Government of Montenegro