The German ambassador to Serbia, Thomas Schieb, has said that the conditions for a fair campaign need to be created before elections, and that the media plays a key role in that process.
"The pandemic has been a challenge for all democracies. After a state of emergency was lifted in Serbia, the conditions surrounding national polls haven't become less complex," Ambassador Schieb said in an interview with the Politika daily, published on May 17.
The German diplomat explained that, in terms of dialog mediated by the European Parliament (EP), it was very important to quickly and sustainably implement the measures that were agreed upon at the negotiating table.
"The media plays a key role in this. It's precisely because of the strong impact that television has on public opinion that it is necessary to respect the strict standards of balanced and neutral reporting," the ambassador said in the interview.
Aside from that, Schieb urged for moderate tones focusing on essential questions and fair play as imperatives during the campaign. "An election campaign should be an arena for the best of ideas to compete with each other, a place for an objective debate without excessive emotions, not an opportunity for personal confrontations and offending opponents, because that can only deepen the apathy of citizens and, by extension, hurt democracy," Ambassador Schieb warned.