Submitted by Administrator on

The new media legislation, which was passed this week in the government, the draft media law and the draft law on audio and audiovisual media services are not in the spirit of the European standards. The government fails to incorporate the essential findings of the domestic and International organisations.
Despite the division of the law into two separate laws it remains the solution for Agency for media to regulate all types of media. It is contrary to the recommendations of the experts of the Council of Europe and OSCE, which recommended to leave the idea in the law to have single regulatory regime for all kinds of media. The division of the law is only mechanical separation of provisions, not an essential separation of the treatment of print and electronic media from the broadcasters.
Concerns remain about the independence of the regulatory body, the Agency for media. Although there is increasing participation of the civil sector in nominations of the members of the Council of the Agency, the majority of his members are proposed by the political institutions, Parliament and ZELS (Association of local mayors on municipalities). The suggestion of the expert of the Council of Europe, the nomination and election of members of the Council by the Elections Commission and nomination’s to be made by a qualified majority was not accepted.
Even stronger political influence has on the nomination of the members of the Council of the Macedonian Radio Television. The 13 members of the Council, ten are proposed by the political and public institutions. This reduces the chances MRT to become a real public service to the citizens.
Not taken in consideration the objection to the deletion of the definition of a journalist, which according to experts can have limiting effect on freedom of expression. It is not regulated the issue of correction and response under the European Directive on audiovisual services, the principle of proportionality is not observed in terms of penal provisions, it is not clearly determined what measures the Agency could take in certain cases, and finally,  there is no legal protection for all actions of the Agency.
For these reasons we think that the government should withdraw the draft law on media, because there is no explanation and need of it, and the draft law for audio and audiovisual media services to be corrected according to the notes of the domestic and foreign institutions.
Instead of media law, which do not require our community, nor the European Commission, the Government should offer legal solutions for government campaigns and donations of media campaign for political parties.
AJM, SSNM, MIM and MDC
07/18/2013
Skopje