On Thursday, 31 March 2022, MEP Irena Joveva was hosted by the national TV channel of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BHT1. A group of MEPs, including Joveva, addressed a letter to Bosnian politicians, drawing attention to the problem of funding of the national radio broadcaster of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BHRT.
Due to having had its accounts blocked by the tax administration, the public media service is prevented from working normally. The letter should primarily serve as an appeal to the authorities to resolve the issue of BHRT’s funding, to show that they understand the importance of independent public service media, and to allow them to perform their function of informing the public of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Indeed, one of the 14 priorities listed by the European Union as a condition for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s candidate status is an independent and functioning public service media. Joveva stressed that meeting these conditions would allow the country to access a wide range of funds for infrastructure, education, employment and support for agriculture. Until these priorities are met, citizens cannot benefit from projects that that would improve their lives. She added that this is one of the tests of the country’s political maturity. Since the problem has arisen within the country, no outside interventions can be counted on. Rather, it is the politicians themselves who must take responsibility in a mature and democratic way and find a solution. The public service media are the basis of any healthy and functioning society. Citizens must have access to independent information, as this is the only way for them to be able to monitor the work of the politicians they have elected and hold them to account. “The public service media must not be hostage to political games”, she concluded.
The full interview can be found at the link below: