VIENNA, 26 September 2012 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Fletcher Burton and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU Special Representative, Ambassador Peter Sørensen, today called for legal reforms to ensure the independence of the public service broadcasters and broadcast regulator in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Their comments came after the publication of two OSCE-commissioned legal reviews of eight laws pertaining to the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA) and the public ser-vice broadcasting system. The conclusions of the reviews were presented in a joint letter to the country’s authorities.
“The authorities need to establish a media framework that allows for politically and finan-cially independent public service broadcasters and a broadcast regulator,” said Mijatović. “Depoliticized and professional media are needed to prevent further fragmentation of the pub-lic service broadcasting system.”
The reviews include a number of recommendations and were prepared to assist the authorities in bringing media legislation in line with OSCE commitments and international standards on media freedom.
A particular focus was placed on legislation relating to the three public service broadcasters and the CRA, as their creation and institutional independence was a precondition for the coun-try’s signing of its Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU. “The recommenda-tions contained in the reviews aim at accelerating the process of reform and ensuring the cor-rect and speedy implementation of existing legislation according to European standards,” said Mijatović.
Mijatović said she hoped that the legal reviews would help Bosnia and Herzegovina adjust its media legislation to meet OSCE commitments as well as international standards on media freedom.