On the eve of the Eastern Partnership Summit the Institute of Public Affairs in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Foundation has organised round-table on Medial landscape in the Eastern Partnership Countries. During the meeting experts from Eastern Partnership countries has presented main conclusions from their report concerning the level of media freedom in the EaP countries”.
Experts specializing in the sphere of the EaP initiative, representatives of organisations supporting media development in the EaP countries, journalists and member of Polish MFA were invited to participate in the seminar.
The meeting was opened by Jacek Kucharczyk, the President of IPA and Knut Dethlefsen, director of Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Jacek Kucharczyk underlined that the report “Media landscape of Eastern Partnership Countries” was prepare within Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. It should be treated as evidence that Forum is working fruitfully.
“Issues concerning media freedom are crucial for strengthening and developing democracy in the Eastern Partnership countries” mentioned Boris Navasardian from Yerevan Press Club in Armenia, co-author of the report. “Unfortunately the problems regarding its functioning are not a port of Eastern Partnership official programmes” underlined Navasardian.They should be, because they are a ground for long discussion.
Nadine Gogu from Independent Media center in Moldova has presented media landscape of Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. In Belarus there is no law on media issues. Ukraine and Moldova have media law of poor quality. What is more, regulatory bodies in the sphere of media are not independent. Unfortunately nor Belarus neither Ukraine has their public broadcasting reformed, what causes that in both countries still exist state - owned stations.
Media landscape of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia was presented by Boris Navasardian. In his speech the problem of media censorship was emphasized. In Armenia authorities try to exploit the process of digitalization to increase media concentration in hands of pro - governmental organisations.
According to the panelists the internet is now the main center of independent media. They strongly support all initiatives aimed at developing new websites. Unfortunately the regimes also see a huge role the internet is going to play as an independent source of information and they try to prevent it (for example: internet providers in Armenia to get the license are obliged to serve the authorities).
The polish perspective of supporting media freedom in the EaP countries was presented by Piotr Iwaszkiewicz from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. He empasised that Polish help is now concentrated in Belarus (Belsat TV, two radio stations), but the new law on development aid gives them a chance to expand their activities.
During the lively discussion news concerning award for journalists from the Eastern Partnership countries was announced.
Report "Media Landscape of Eastern Partnership Countries":