OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

03/08/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2019 10:40

OSCE-supported roundtable discussion on Draft Law on Amendments to Law on National Public Broadcaster Radio-Television of Montenegro organized in Podgorica

The Montenegrin Ministry of Culture hosted a roundtable discussion on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on National Public Broadcaster Radio-Television of Montenegro, on 8 March 2019 in Podgorica. The meeting was organized with the support of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro.

The main objective was to enable the public to participate in a constructive discussion on the proposed amendments and legal solutions, as well as to share the analysis of international media experts.

The head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Maryse Daviet, said that in today's time of mass media and rapid flow of information, it is very important to provide the public with accurate and impartial news. 'The role of the public service broadcaster is particularly important since it plays a special role in creating public opinion. It is important to note that public service broadcasting should always be a citizens' service, independent, impartial and professional,' said Daviet.

Aleksandar Bogdanović, Minister of Culture, said that at this stage of the EU integration, Montenegro is legally inheriting and implementing high international standards of freedom and independence of the media. 'These standards definitely imply that the Public Radio-Diffusion Service is conceptualized to meet the interests of the wider public, to ensure the implementation and promotion of fundamental human rights and freedom, the pluralism of social and public ideas, and enhances the culture of public dialogue and respect for linguistic diversity,' said Minister Bogdanović.

Aivo Orav, Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, said that the legal framework needs to create conditions for transparency, media pluralism and in that sense, it is equally important that the Law on National Public Broadcaster Radio-Television, as well as the Law on Electronic Media, acknowledge recommendations and show clear media strategy. 'I am glad that we have been able to co-ordinate with our partners from the Council of Europe and the OSCE and give our recommendations on the amendments to the Law,' said Orav.

Angelo Longo, Head of Operations of the Council of Europe Programme Office in Podgorica, concluding the welcoming speeches, said that as the guardian of the rule of law in Europe, the Council of Europe through its legal system is set to protect the fundamental rights ensured in the European Convention, including the right to freedom of expression: 'Without free expression and free media, violations of human rights may remain hidden and genuine democracy is not possible.'

The event was attended by representatives of state institutions, the media community, international organizations and diplomatic missions in Montenegro, as well as representatives of civil society organizations working with the media.