A healthy, professional and independent media that report on and properly scrutinises current affairs in BiH are vital for the country’s future, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU Special Representative, Ambassador Peter Sorensen, and Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador Fletcher M. Burton said during a visit to the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) today.
The two heads of missions visited the CRA to underline their support, and the support of their organisations, for all those working to uphold these standards in the media sector. They also expressed support for the institutional role of the CRA as an important pillar of BiH’s media sector.
Ambassador Sorensen said: “Building a healthy, independent media and a healthy public forum in which all issues can be appropriately debated is essential for vibrant democracy. Everybody working to achieve these goals has our support. Institutions such as the CRA have a hugely important role in this process and this is why the EU has contributed to building its professional capacity. The independence of its staffing and financing must be ensured so that it can indeed be a pillar of the media sector in BiH. There is real concern that we have a deteriorating situation on our hands in Bosnia and Herzegovina as regards freedom of the media. Therefore the European Union, specifically the Commission, is engaged, monitoring the situation and supporting debate that should then lead to solutions. I underline that turning this around is a responsibility for all social actors: the media themselves, leaders, citizens. We should all ask what we can do to improve matters.”
Ambassador Burton said: “We are committed to the establishment of a functional media regulator to ensure a transparent and independent media environment. Free media is one of the basic pillars on which any properly functioning democracy rests. The CRA plays an important role in ensuring this. In so doing, it contributes to the development of an open and democratic society in line with OSCE values”