Eurotink – Centre for European Strategies, NGO Infocentar, Transparency Macedonia and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, presents the third monitoring report on the work of the Agency for Audio and Audio-visual Media Services (AVMU) and the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC), within the project “Monitoring Performance, Effectiveness, Transparency and Responsibility of Media Regulators – PROformance Watch”.
The event was attended by Sefer Tahiri, Communication Expert, Goran Lazarov, Project Coordinator from Eurotink and Biljana Bejkova, Executive Director of the NGO Info-centre. Moderator was Hristena Jovancheva, PR from Eurotink.
Goran Lazarov referred to the work of the AEC. According to Lazarov, the Agency publishes most of the documents and data in a timely manner on the main website. However, the website does not have complete information on the leadership of the AEC and the members of the Commission. AEC has three websites, which can be confusing to citizens who want to make an objection. In her address, Lazarov also referred to the donations of the Agency. In this quarter AEK awarded a donation to the swimming club “Beta” from Skopje, but again there is no information about the amount of money that is actually being donated. By amending the Annual Plan, AEK reduced the donation rate from 75,385,000 to 4,615,000 denars. The biggest increase in the Annual Financial Plan is for the construction of the antenna pillar on Vodno and the total amount has increased by 91.726.918 denars, thus the total amount foreseen to be spent in 2017 is 194 373 166 denars – said Goran Lazarov.
Biljana Bejkova addressed the work of AVMU. She pointed out that the Agency for Media maintains a solid level of transparency and accountability. But even in this quarter, an extremely important and crucial issue is posed, the need for full political and party independence of AVMS. The Government with the Reform Plan 3-6-9 encompassed the AVMU i.e. announced changes to the legislation in the election of members of its Council based on merit.
Bejkova also pointed out that the report noted the existence of differences in the recognition of hate speech between AVMS, the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Commission for Protection against Discrimination (CPA), as in the case of the Tv Sitel’s articles during the parliamentary elections 2016, what is hate speech for AVMU, for CPA is just a political campaign.
Sefer Tahiri, a communist, referred to the new legal changes in the media sphere.
The PROformance Watch program is implemented in the period September 2016 – March 2018 and is supported by the British Embassy in the Republic of Macedonia. The project team monitors the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability and protection of the public interest of two regulatory bodies: the Agency for Audio and Audio-visual Media Services (AVMS) and the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC).
This third quarterly report refers to the work of AVMS and AEK in the period April – June 2017 and is prepared on the basis of the “Monitoring Matrix for the work of AVMU and AEK”, 1 created in consultation with the two regulatory bodies and published in January 2017. The methodology developed for the needs of this monitoring takes into account the specifics of both regulatory bodies and monitors their work in terms of transparency and accountability, efficiency and independence, performance and protection of the public interest.
Download the full report: Third quarterly report on the work of AVMS and AEK