Freedom of expression and media is one of the key priorities for Montenegro, and public sector, judiciary and media community remain committed to the improved policy, legal and institutional framework for the exercise of the freedom of expression principles and the media in the country. This has been reiterated by the members of the first Steering Committee of joint European Union and Council of Europe action on ‘Promoting freedom of expression and of the media in Montenegro’ (PRO-FREX-M), which took place in Podgorica, on 31 May 2023.
The action will be implemented through the continued partnerships with the Centre for Training in Judiciary and State Prosecution, Police Directorate, Ministry for Culture and Media, Agency for Electronic Media, Agency for Free Access to Information and Data Protection, national Public Broadcaster RTCG and civil society – Association of Professional journalists and Media Trade Union, with the aim to promote the European standards in the areas of freedom of expression and safety of journalists, as one of the key elements of the EU accession related reforms.
The PRO-FREX-M would focus on further development of the capacities of judiciary and law enforcement to ensure legal and institutional safeguards to the freedom of expression and the media, as well as to support the media community and raise their awareness on the most relevant European standards in said areas. Furthermore, the action would support media policy and legal reforms, and regulators in the areas of audio-visual media services and free access to information, so they could contribute to the favorable environment for the exercise of freedom of expression and media.
Hence, by improving the country policy and legal framework and building capacities of judiciary and police to safeguard it, the action would empower the journalists to work more effectively and with the increased level of protection from hard and treats, and thus – provide the society and citizens of Montenegro with quality, timely, balanced and accurate information.
The action “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media in Montenegro” is part of the joint European Union and the Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.