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Council of Europe
Conseil de l'Europe

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Union européenne
 
Promotion of European Standards in the Ukrainian Media Environment 2008/DGHL/JP/2113
 

Countries

Ukraine

Funding

European Union – Council of Europe

Implementation

Council of Europe

Duration

52 months (September 2008 – December 2012)

Total project funds received

2 488 000

№ of activities organised

275 activities

Objectives

The overall objective of the project was to raise standards of journalism with a view to ensuring that the Ukrainian public is better informed about political and social processes in Ukraine. In order to achieve this, the project provided continuing support for enhancing the legislative framework for media and for raising the ethical standards in the journalism profession. It also provided assistance for enhancing the legal framework on protection of personal data. Finally, the project supported an ongoing dialogue between the media, civil society and the state administration at the regional level, aiming ultimately to generate recommendations for enhanced co-operation at the central level.

Original specific objectives

- Assistance for improving the effectiveness, independence and transparency of the media regulator and for the establishment of a genuine public-service broadcaster;

- Assistance for drafting a coordinated plan for the transition to digital broadcasting;

- Harmonisation of the media legislation with European standards;

- Quick response mechanism – provision of legal and other assistance on short notice in cases unforeseen in the work plan;

- Assistance for the effective development of a system for protection of personal data.  

Partner

Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament)

Target groups

National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting, Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information of the Verkhovna Rada, Ministry of Justice, State Service for Protection of Personal Data, editors, journalists, officials of regional and local administrations, civil society representatives

Final beneficiaries

Media professionals, Ukrainian public

Achieved results

- The media legislation is developed in line with European norms and standards;

- The legal framework and institutional capacity of a public service broadcaster is developed;

- A draft Digital Broadcasting Strategy for Ukraine is prepared;

- The regulatory practices for the protection of personal data are aligned with the European standards;

- Potential collisions between the access to information law and data protection law are mapped out;

- A Code of Conduct for the media as regards the implementation of the law on protection of personal data is developed;

- Journalists and editorial staff develop professional working methods on the basis of best practices in Europe;

- Enhanced understanding of ethics among media professionals; information is available about corruption in the sector;

- Progress is made towards the establishment of a media self-regulatory mechanism (Press Council/Press Complaints Commission);

- Improved mechanisms for co-operation and dialogue between journalists, civil society representatives and state officials.

Main activities

Seminars, workshops, trainings, study tours, monitoring, development of case studies, conferences, publications, TV debates.

 

Results achieved:

The Joint Project (JP) of the European Union/Council of Europe contributed noticeably to raising the standards of Ukrainian journalism. From September 2008 till December 2012 the project supported the reforms and the development of free and pluralistic media, enabling the public to receive more objective, balanced and comprehensive information through the media.

During the project implementation, 275 activities were organised as follows:

First phase of the project (September 2008 – December 2010: 180 activities)

Second phase of the project (January 2011- December 2012 extension: 95 activities)

The JP achieved significant results and effectively contributed to landmark achievements such as the ratification by Ukraine of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television in December 2008 and its further implementation, notably the advertising and sponsorship rules.

The analyses and comments provided by the Council of Europe experts were instrumental in bringing the draft Law on Access to Public Information closer to the European standards. The law was adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament (the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) in January 2011. In 2012 it ranked 8th in the global rating of the quality of information laws managed by the highly reputable NGOs Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD). In order to facilitate the successful application of the newly adopted law, in 2011-2012 the project proactively assisted the public officials by providing comprehensive practical guides on organising access to information in a public authority. These were the first post-adoption manuals and they were used as reference materials by the authorities nationwide. These publications were also made available on the web-sites of the Presidential Administration, local authorities, the State TV and Radio Committee of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Freedom of Speech and Information, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

The project also conducted training on the application of the access to information law for more than 800 public officials, journalists and civil society activists in 17 regions of Ukraine. All in all, by the end of the project, 103 institutions successfully set up the units responsible for organising access to information, comprising more than 300 officials in total. In 2011-2012 access was granted to 290 000 documents held by public authorities. According to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine statistics, about 63,000 responses to requests for information were provided by the authorities of all levels during 2012. This is a convincing proof that throughout the project implementation period the citizens started actively using the new law in order to participate in a real and effective way in the matters that affect them.