EU AND COUNCIL OF EUROPE WORKING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT FREEDOM OF MEDIA IN UKRAINE
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WHAT IS THE PROJECT ABOUT?
“EU and Council of Europe working together to support freedom of media in Ukraine” (hereinafter – the Project) is one of three components of the Joint Project of the European Union and the Council of Europe “EU and Council of Europe working together to strengthening protection of the human rights in Ukraine”. It is aimed to enhance the role of media, its freedom and safety, and the public broadcaster as an instrument for consensus building in the Ukrainian society according to the priorities included in the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2021 as well as EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, ratified in September 2014.
The Project addresses six main priorities:
- reinforcing the Public Broadcasting system in Ukraine;
- strengthening local print press outlets which undergone de-statisation reform;
- safety of journalists and countering impunity of crimes against freedom of expression, in particular creation of the rapid response mechanism to ensure safety of journalists;
- adoption of audiovisual legislation and strengthening capacities of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine;
- improving access to public information for media and society;
- balanced and professional media coverage of elections, fighting propaganda and information disorder and providing information security of Ukraine in line with the European standards.
BUDGET AND TIMEFRAME OF THE PROJECT
The total budget of the media component amounts to EUR 1 172 300.
The Project is implemented by 09 July 2021.
SITUATION IN THE SPHERE OF MEDIA IN UKRAINE
Since the Euro-Maidan or the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukraine has made important efforts to reflect European standards into national legal framework and practice in the fields of media, freedom of expression and information society. Major reforms have been launched and based on adoption of the legislation on public service broadcasting, transparency of media ownership, and reform of state and communal print media. The Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC has been created, major strategic documents concerning its functioning adopted and its capacity strengthened. Effective mechanism of Ukraine’s co-operation with the Council of Europe Platform on Safety of Journalists was created.
Ukraine has made a visible progress in media reforms. However, the results achieved are still fragile. Further efforts are needed to ensure the sustainability of reforms.
Despite significant progress achieved so far, the UA:PBC remains seriously underfinanced and its structure needs further optimisation.
Regarding the safety of journalists, the number of physical attacks on journalists has grown in 2018, while their investigation remains largely inefficient. A narrow definition of “professional activities of a journalist” in the Criminal Code of Ukraine does not cover the journalists of electronic media, bloggers, camerapersons and other new actors, protection is another problem.
The Draft Law “On Audiovisual Services” is being prepared. The Association Agreement with the EU indicates that Ukraine committed to align its media legislation with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive of the Agreement.
Fair, balanced and impartial media coverage of elections in Ukraine remains a serious challenge. Political advertising in and between the electoral processes and hidden advertising, abundance of fake news and propaganda, freedom of expression and ethical standards for journalists are on top of public discussions.
PROJECT’S EXPECTED RESULTS
- The governance system of public broadcaster is built, it is financially sustainable and enjoys editorial independence to fulfill its role of public service media;
- The reform of communal print outlets is finalized, they are strengthened and provide quality journalism at local level;
- Enhanced safety of media actors as a result of guaranteed protection by law and strong nationally owned Rapid Response Mechanism for protection of media actors;
- The Law “On Audiovisual Services” is adopted and implemented in line with EU AVMS Directive and the Council of Europe standards and ensures the independence of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine;
- Access to public information and transparency in operations of the information holders is ensured.
- Media coverage of elections is effectively regulated and mechanisms for fighting information disorder and propaganda are introduced resulting with increased transparency of electoral process.
The key partners of the media component are PJSC “Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine” (UA:PBC), National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine, Parliamentary Committees on Humanitarian and Information Policy and on the Freedom of Speech, relevant ministries, the Presidential Office of Ukraine, State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, Central Election Commission, educational institutions, civil society organisations working in the sphere of media, relevant professional associations etc.
HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE PROJECT
If you are interested in activities of the Project, please follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoEUPSIS
8 Illinska str., 7entrance, 6th floor
04070 Kyiv, Ukraine
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