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IRIS 2012-8:1/9

European Commission

Media Policy Developments in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Welcomed

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Cristina Bachmeier

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

The Stabilisation and Association Council set up between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the EU (SA Council) held its ninth meeting on 24 July 2012. The EU Commissioner responsible, Štefan Füle, thought the meeting had been a useful opportunity to review the progress of the accession process, including the priority areas under the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD). He welcomed the report prepared and adopted by the government, taking stock of the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Based on this initial report, various recommendations could be developed for future measures. The SA Council discussed the draft law on civil liability for insult and defamation, and stressed the importance of freedom of expression, especially in the media. After consultation with the stakeholders, the law should be brought into line with European standards. Füle added that the Criminal Code should be revised accordingly. The SA Council also welcomed the dialogue taking place in the country concerning the issues of freedom of expression, media ownership, political advertising and the labour rights of journalists.

Since the Republic of Macedonia is continuing to fulfil its commitments under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), the Commission reiterated its proposal to move to the second stage of implementation of the SAA; the SA Council noted that this proposal was currently under consideration.

References
Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle at the press conference after the Association Council with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, MEMO/12/596, 24 July 2012 EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=16040
 
Ninth meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the EU, Joint press release, 12873/12, 24 July 2012 EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=16041