Natrag Support to freedom of media initiatives highlighted in the 1st Steering Committee meeting of PROFREX action in Pristina

Pristina 7 February 2024
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Support to freedom of media initiatives highlighted in the 1st Steering Committee meeting of PROFREX action in Pristina

Free, independent, plural and diverse media constitutes one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. Key local institutions and stakeholders gathered in Pristina at the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the EU and Council of Europe joint action on “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media (PRO-FREX) to give further impulse to co-operation with the Council of Europe to foster media freedom and freedom of expression. The meeting saw fruitful discussions between representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister / Development Co-operation Office, the Academy of Justice, the Independent Media Commission, and the Association of Journalists. Together with the European Union Office and the Council of Europe they reviewed the progress of the co-operative efforts under PRO-FREX and charted the future course of action, highlighting a deep commitment to advancie freedom of the media and freedom of expression, in line with European standards. The capacity-building programme of activities for legal professionals and journalists was confirmed, with an emphasis on safety and protection against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). A review of domestic case law on freedom of expression will be completed. Furthermore, the meeting also agreed on adjusting the technical assistance to the Independent Media Commission to facilitate the implementation of relevant standards, especially in the on line domain, further demonstrating the commitment to uphold media freedom and expression."

In this framework, the Council of Europe representatives including Alina Tatarenko, Head of the Division for Co-operation on Freedom of Expression, and Tankut Soyan, acting Head of the Council of Europe Office in Pristina met the Ukrainian journalists participating in the "Journalists in Residence" programme. The programme, implemented by the Association of Journalists, provides shelter for journalists under threat, enabling them to continue their essential work. This initiative not only reflects the commitment to press freedom but also illustrates the broader objectives of supporting journalists globally, reinforcing the importance of international solidarity in times of crisis.

Both meetings were organised in the framework of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye – Phase III” and its action on “Protecting Freedom of Expression and of the Media (PRO-FREX)”, implemented by the Council of Europe Division for Co-operation on Freedom of Expression.  



* Ova oznaka ne prejudicira stavove o statusu i ista je u skladu s Rezolucijom Vijeća sigurnosti UN-a 1244 i Mišljenjem Međunarodnog suda pravde o Deklaraciji o neovisnosti Kosova.