Joint Press release of the EU Delegation and the Ministry of European Integration in the framework of the Seminar on media freedom and freedom of expression, which took place in Tirana on 16 January 2013 (17/01/2013)


A seminar on media freedom and freedom of expression in the framework of Albania's European Integration brought together over 180 Albanian media professionals, institutions concerned with media freedom, decision makers and international experts to analyse the current media situation in the country and gave their views on the issues of concern, challenges and on the way forward.  The event which took place today in Tirana was organised jointly by the European Commission and the Albanian Ministry of Integration.

The panellists and participants addressed a number of issues, including those underlined in the latest European Commission Progress report; such as defamation, transparency and openness of the market, independence of the public broadcaster, employment conditions of journalists and media ethics.

The seminar took place in the context of the new approach to freedom of expression and media issues outlined in the European Commission Enlargement Strategy for 2011-2012 and as a follow-up to the 2012 Progress Report. The European Commission committed itself to increase attention to these  issues in the EU accession process and to closely monitor developments in this area in the Enlargement countries, including Albania.  Accordingly, the European Commission is willing to strengthen its cooperation with the Albanian authorities and to support efforts to reach European standards in this field.

"In the context of EU integration, Albania has all the potential to establish a positive track record in the freedom of media field by addressing these issues ", said Mr Andris Kesteris, Principal Advisor for Civil Society and Media to the Director General for Enlargement in the European Commission.

The Minister for European Integration Majlinda Bregu underlined Albania's progress in strengthening media freedom, most recently through the decriminalisation of defamation and the moratorium on proceedings against journalists, and expressed the commitment of the Albanian government to take further action so as to achieve the highest European standards on media freedom.

Operational conclusions will be drawn by the Albanian authorities and the European Commission as a follow-up to this event, which will include concrete measures to be taken and results to be achieved to ensure and enhance media freedom in Albania.