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The 151 page report (check against final version) comes up with altogether 67 recommendations, which are meant to help Montenegro formulate a national media policy.
The topics the report tackles range from state aid rules to copyright issues and medial self-regulation and freedom of speech in the digital age.
The list of recommendations includes among others the following:
Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanović welcomed the report and stated:
“We see the critical comments from the European Commission related to the application of self-regulatory standards as a commitment for the media community - to respond to a European regulation with self-regulatory tools and practices on the basis of ethical professional principles, protection of privacy and other topics from a journalistic code which should respect by all media outlets. In the unity of optimal and proportional legal regulation, and codes of respect for self-regulatory practices, we will build a sustainable environment in which a democratic law institute implies responsibilities and obligations in the public interest of all participants in media life. The democratic concept of regulation of freedom of expression and information, according to EU standards, implies the broadest public debate in the public interest.
Due to the nature of the issues that are standardised and the mechanisms for their implementation, it is necessary to hear the opinion of the broadest public - government representatives, the media community, professional associations, civil society, academic community, independent media regulator." Plamena Halacheva, Chargée d'affaires and Head of Political Section at the EU Delegation to Montenegro highlighted: "This is another occasion to stress that freedom of the media is a non-negotiable condition for any candidate country on its way towards EU membership, and an important indicator of the functioning of rule of law. It is not by coincidence that freedom of expression and media freedom are a core element of the key chapter 23, including the interim benchmarks that Montenegro is determined to meet."
She further said that
"this study confirms that media freedom cannot be seen or attained in an isolated way. Mirroring the complexity and variety of all issues at stake, the report proposes a considerable number of recommendations […], which need to be addressed in coherent and coordinated way, while keeping the ultimate goal in sight. The study provides a solid starting point for Montenegro to formulate a comprehensive national media policy."
Lejla Dervišagić, Head of Cooperation Unit at the Media and Internet Division at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg highlighted during the presentation:
" The inquiry was based on Council of Europe standards relating to freedom of expression and freedom of the media, as well as EU regulations. The aim of this inquiry is to offer review of legislative and institutional framework for media and freedom of expression in Montenegro, and to offer conclusions and recommendations that will serve as a guideline for further defining and implementation of national media policies."