Brnabic: Compromise on Two New Media Bills Reached | Beta Briefing

Brnabic: Compromise on Two New Media Bills Reached

Source: Beta
Archive / News | 11.10.23 | access_time 12:16

Ana Brnabic (Photo: Serbian Government/ Pedja Vuckovic)

On Oct. 11, following the conclusion of the public debate on two draft laws concerning the media – the Public Information and Media Act and the Electronic Media Act – Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced that a compromise was reached “on key implementation issues” as well as regarding the Press Council and the election of members to the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) Council.

During a meeting with representatives of the media, journalist associations, international partners, and the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, Brnabic said that the Press Council will be “a self-regulating authority for all media, newly-introduced to the legislative framework,” it was said in a statement issued by the Cabinet.

“Both drafts will be adopted by the end of October,” Brnabic further stated and underlined that “the bills are revolutionary, because they introduce self-regulation.”

In his own comment on the sit-down, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Jan Braathu emphasized how important inclusivity and transparency are in drafting media-related legislation and added that the same values are central to implementing the Media Strategy Action Plan in both letter and spirit.

Progress in reaching compromises with media and journalist associations was also achieved at the meeting, Braathu said, citing the current proposal to have authorized nominators ensure the depoliticization of the REM Council. The Press Council, he explained, is the only self-regulating body envisioned by the bills in question.

The OSCE ambassador went on to say that it is necessary to “additionally strengthen the REM’s organizational, functional and financial independence,” asserting that his mission would aid the implementation of the bills once they are finalized and help the drafting of any necessary bylaws.

Manuel Munteanu, the head of information, communication and media and deputy head of the political section of the EU Delegation to Serbia, said that the Media Strategy is “a very good document” and reiterated how important it is that the two draft bills reflect the Strategy’s spirit.

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