Press statement of the EU Delegation on behalf of the European Commission on draft media laws (19/08/2013)

Following  this week's debate in Skopje on the draft laws on media and audio- and  audio-visual media services, the European Commission would like to clarify its role in this process.

The development of new media legislation to replace the existing Broadcasting Law started in 2011 at the initiative of the national authorities and not at the specific request of the European Commission.

For the part of the proposed legislation which aligns with EU law (EU Directive on Audio-visual Media Services), the European Commission has made independent technical expertise available to the government in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Guaranteeing the freedom of expression and other fundamental rights is a requirement for a country to join the EU, but when and exactly how to reform a country's media legislation is a matter for national authorities and stakeholders.

As regards the process, the European Commission has been clear from the start that the government should take the necessary time to ensure that proposed laws are in line with European standards and best practices and that consultation with all relevant stakeholders is as inclusive as possible. 

Beyond these pieces of legislation, the Commission's upcoming annual report will assess other, broader, outstanding issues in relation to the media environment in the country.