Publication Date: November 2023
Research and Editorial Team: European Commission

Different Chapters of the EU acquis communautaire deal with press and media-related technical issues, i.e. Chapter 5 on public procurement, Chapter 8 on competition policy and chapter 10 on information society and the media. Moreover, Chapter 23, which focuses on the judiciary and fundamental rights, comprises a section dedicated to freedom of expression covering different aspects of press and media freedom, such as:  journalists’ safety, legislative and institutional environment, public service broadcasters, economic factors, professional organisations and working conditions.

With regard to the latter Chapter, the European Commission’s 2023 progress report saw limited progress in the field of press and media freedom compared to the previous year. Serious concerns remain with regard to increasing cases of threats, intimidations, smear campaigns, violence and SLAPPs against journalists, especially those engaging in investigative work.

Other issues that fell under the Commission’s radar regard the ownership of media outlets by state-owned enterprises and the lack of transparency in state funding and state aid allocation. These trends indeed lead to a worrisome political and economic influence over the press and the media, ultimately causing a chilling effect and the possibility of (self)censorship.

Against this backdrop, the Commission reiterated its 2022 recommendations, stressing the need to:

  1. Strengthening the security and safety of journalists and ensuring an appropriate investigation and prosecution of crimes against journalists and media professionals;
  2. Strengthening media pluralism by properly implementing the Media Strategy;
  3. Ensuring full transparency in media ownership, advertising and co-funding.
Tags: Serbia European policies and legislation Freedom of expression Media freedom

The content of this article can be used according to the terms of Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) . To do so use the the wording "this article was originally published on the Resource Centre on Media Freedom in Europe" including a direct active link to the original article page.