PRISTINA, 27 January 2017 – The EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative is concerned over a lack of transparency in drafting amendments to the Law on Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), and the approval of the draft amendments by the parliamentary media committee without public presence and discussion.
The EU calls on the Assembly to allow the interested public to take part in the debate on the amendments, in line with principles of good governance, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Kosovo and the EU, and the European Reform Agenda as the SAA implementing tool.
The EU is encouraged that despite a significant delay the Government and the Assembly of Kosovo have followed up on the 2012 RTK Law provisions that stipulate that a solution to the RTK financing is to be found primarily through subscription and other independent sources of funding (Articles 21). However, the EU was informed that the state budget would remain a significant, if not de facto the primary, source of funding for the public broadcaster, which may impair the long-term editorial and financial independence of the RTK, especially in a situation when it is not known how the collection of the subscription fee has been regulated.
The EU therefore calls on the Assembly, as the people's representatives, to open up the space for public discussion and consultations in each phase of the preparation of the amendments to the RTK Law. This would enable the interested parties to give their contribution so that the adopted changes provide the RTK with tools to exercise its public remit independently of any undue influences and to the benefit of the Kosovo people it is to serve.