Adoption of two media laws postponed

October 16, 2023

Despite an announcement that the Government of Serbia would last week finalise the draft law on public information & media and the draft law on electronic media, and subsequently submit them to the Serbian National Assembly for adoption, this has nonetheless failed to happen. According to an N1 television announcement, the OSCE Mission to Serbia has requested another round of talks between representatives of the Government and media and journalists’ associations on disputed provisions of these laws.

According to these industry associations, none of them have seen the final versions of the draft laws. Information has since emerged claiming that the final versions of the laws included new and controversial provisions that were subsequently added surreptitiously.

These draft media laws have been subjected to public debate over the past month, during which the majority of objections that have been voiced relate to the state’s intention to once again play an ownership role in media outlets, albeit indirectly, but also to the state’s lack of willingness to appoint new members to the heavily criticised Council of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media following adoption of the law on electronic media.