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Enhancing Media Pluralism: Serbia's New By-laws

In today’s digital age where the media shapes societal perceptions, effective regulatory frameworks are paramount. With the support of the Council of Europe, the Serbian Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) recently introduced Rulebooks (by-laws) which aim to bolster human rights protection, safeguard minors, regulate election-related content, ensure accessibility, and promote local cultural content.

>> Strengthening pluralism and diversity of information:

The Rulebook on protecting human rights fosters media pluralism and diversity of information. Strengthened provisions within this framework aim to safeguard individuals' rights to access diverse sources of information, thus mitigating the risks of information monopolisation and promoting a more inclusive media landscape.

>> Enhanced protection for minors and privacy:

The updated Rulebook introduces better privacy protection and more refined categorisation of programme content to shield minors from potentially harmful or inappropriate content. Such initiatives not only align with international standards for child protection in media but also reflect a proactive approach towards addressing emerging challenges in the digital age.

>> Regulating media conduct during elections:

The Rulebook on the conduct of media service providers during election campaigns seek to uphold the integrity of electoral processes by defining political advertisement and imposing limitations on political advertising.

>> Advancing accessibility for persons with disabilities:

The introduction of the Rulebook on the availability of content to persons with hearing or vision impairments represents a commendable step towards enhancing media accessibility. Transitioning from a non-binding recommendation to a legally binding provision, this Rulebook mandates the availability of accessible content, thereby promoting inclusivity and equal access to information.

>> Regulating video content exchange platforms:

The new Rulebook on mandatory measures of service providers of video content exchange platforms aims to mitigate the proliferation of harmful or inappropriate content online.

The amendment of the Rulebooks introduced by the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media  was supported through the action “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media in Serbia (PROFREX)”, implemented by the Council of Europe’s Division for Co-operation on Freedom of Expression, which is part of the joint European Union - Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.

Belgrade, Serbia 16 May 2024
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"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression"

Art. 10 European Convention on Human Rights

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