The European Union steps up support to independent media in the Western Balkans

At the EU-Western Balkans Media Days that took place on 9 – 10 November in Tirana, Albania, the Commission announced that it will invest in new initiatives to support independent journalism, sustainable media outlets, and boost regional cooperation among public service media.

Freedom of media is one of the political criteria for EU accession – a must for countries willing to join the European Union. At the EU-Western Balkans Media Days conference, the Commission put forward comprehensive proposals to strengthen independent media in the region. New EU funds will provide training for young and mid-career journalists across the region, thereby boosting investigative journalism that contributes to reconciliation. A new technical assistance programme for Public Service Broadcasters will support regional co-production of investigative journalism, media content for youth and digitalisation. In addition, to support independent media, new actions with the European Endowment for Democracy will benefit start-ups for new independent media outlets and small-scale initiatives.

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