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Promotion of European standards in the Ukrainian media environment

 

 
Budget € 1 208 918 until 31 December 2010; additional € 1 000 000 for an extension from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012
 
Funding European Commission (90%)
Council of Europe (10%)
 
Implementation Media Section (Directorate of Co-operation, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs)
 
Duration 1 September 2008 – 31 December 2010
Extended until 31 December 2012 with additional funding
 
Objective To raise standards of journalism with a view to ensuring that the Ukrainian public is better informed about political and social processes and to provide continuing support for enhancing the legislative framework for media.
 
Activities and results in 2010 The project has three components:

Legislative framework for the media;

Advocacy for a code of ethics and improved professional standards in journalism;

  Improved co-operation between media, civil society and state administration officials.

Among the results achieved in 2010 are the following:

The analyses and comments provided by the Council of Europe experts at the drafting and pre-adoption stage of the Law on Access to Public Information were instrumental for bringing this law closer to European standards. The law was adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament on 13 January 2011;

Advice provided by Council of Europe consultants during dedicated seminars assisted Ukrainian experts in their work on the alignment of media legislation, such as the advertising and broadcasting laws, with the European Convention on Transfrontier Television;

As regards concentration and transparency of media ownership, the authorities received practical advice on how to improve the legislation and practice. However, political will for implementation of these recommendations was lacking until the end of 2010;

  A high-level conference “Safeguards for Media Pluralism in Ukraine” with the participation of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Ms Dunja Mijatovic, adopted recommendations for continuing the reforms in the media field in cooperation with the Council of Europe and other organisations;

Expert analysis of the Law on Telecommunications in the light of the EU regulatory framework and discussions with local stakeholders helped to advance the process of reforming the law;

As concerns the transition to digital broadcasting, advice was provided on the technical, regulatory, economic and public awareness aspects as well as on strategy development and improving the interagency coordination during the switchover.
 
Assessment and follow up The project achieved significant results, particularly in areas where there was political commitment on behalf of the authorities. The adoption of the Law on Access to Public Information is a notable example. In other areas, where such commitment was lacking, little progress was made – e.g., as concerns the establishment of a genuine public-service broadcaster.

The project was scheduled to end on 1 May 2010. A no cost extension was then granted until the end of 2010. Before the scheduled end of the project, the Delegation of the European Union in Kyiv and the Council of Europe agreed to extend it for two more years with additional funding of 1 000 000 Euro. This will allow to build on the results achieved so far and to continue reforming the Ukrainian media landscape in line with European standards.
 

High-level conference

A high-level conference “Safeguards for media pluralism in Ukraine” with
 the participation of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media,
Ms Dunja Mijatovic (in the middle), took place in Kyiv on 13 October 2010