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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article12 September 2019Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Third EU-Western Balkans Media Days on 12-13 September in Montenegro: ensuring media freedom and sustainability of independent media in the Western Balkans

The third edition of the EU-Western Balkans Media Days has started today in Podgorica, Montenegro.


The third edition of the EU-Western Balkans Media Days has started today in Podgorica, Montenegro. Organised by the Commission, the Conference gathers around 350 representatives of media and civil society organisations as well as policymakers from the Western Balkans and the EU. Participants will discuss today and tomorrow the role of media in societal changes, its impact on key reforms on the path towards the EU, as well as identify forward-looking actions to strengthen independent media. Ahead of the Conference,Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said: "The EU-Western Balkans Media Days – that we launched in 2017 - have contributed to a more comprehensive approach to support media freedom in the region. EU representatives and experts engage and hear directly from journalists, representatives of media organisations as well as political representatives about the effectiveness of the EU assistance and current challenges and concerns to tackle. Freedom of media is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union and a key political indicator in the EU accession process. We must and we will continue to work on concrete ways to sustain and increase independent and professional journalism, help use of new technologies and favour regional cooperation, reconciliation and exchanges. The EU-Western Balkans Media Days are an important step in this direction.” This year's third edition focuses on discussing how to guarantee freedom and sustainability of media in the region and how to ensure support to new generations of journalists. The discussion about reconciliation and regional cooperation, and overcoming nationalistic narratives hold a central place on the conference agenda alongside themes such as the importance of independent reporting, how to avoid manipulation of information and how to enhance public media literacy. More information on the EU-Western Balkans Media Days as well as the text of the video message by Commissioner Hahn and the video trailer of the event are available online. Read the opening remarks by Director-General Christian Danielsson here. Follow the discussions under #EUWBmedia. (For more information: Maja Kocijancic – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Alceo Smerilli – Tel.: +32 229 64887)