A two-day conference held in Tirana, on the beginning of the project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans”, was aimed at providing contributions to reforms and professional development of public media services in the Western Balkans countries. The said project will be implemented in the period from 1 February 2018 to 31 July 2020, consisting of three components focused on: ensuring the political and financial independence of public services, achieving their best professional standards and improving program content through co-operation and fostering of pluralistic, independent and credible program content.
The project beneficiaries are six public media services in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia, parliamentary bodies responsible for the media, regulatory agencies, as well as the administrative bodies of media services. The project is led by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) together with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange for South-East Europe (ERNO).
As a result of the two-day event, the details of the Memorandum of Understanding were presented to the participants, containing specific steps that will be implemented during the project's duration. The participants of the event were also welcomed by Ms Romana Vlahutin, EU Ambassador to Albania, who emphasised the importance of democratisation and improvement of the work of public media services.
Staff of the Committee on Political System, Judiciary and Administration attended the event.