UNESCO is the UN specialized agency with the mandate to promote "the free flow of ideas by word and image", and to nurture freedom of expression, media development, and access to information. It provides governments with technical advice on legal, regulatory, policy and other critical issues, and educates and builds capacities of journalists, media professionals and institutions.
UNESCO has a long-standing experience of promoting freedom of expression and media development in transitional countries, particularly in South East Europe and Turkey. In this respect, UNESCO contributed to the Guidelines for EU support to media freedom and integrity in enlargement countries 2014-2020.
From 2009 until 2011, UNESCO implemented the project "Alignment to International Standards in the Media Sector of South East European countries". From 2013 to 2015, a second project was implemented under the title "Media Accountability in South East Europe". In January 2016, the project "Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey " was launched, with the aim of supporting media accountability mechanisms, internal governance of media entities and media and information literacy in EU candidate and potential candidate countries with financial support of the European Commission, DG Near.