Protecting freedom of expression and of the media (PRO-FREX)
The action ‘Protecting freedom of expression and of the media’ (PRO-FREX) enables the beneficiary institutions and civil society organisations in Kosovo* to progress towards meeting their reform agendas in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of media, in line with the European standards.
The action is implemented within the joint programme of the European Union and Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye running from 2023 to 2026 and aims to contribute to an improved environment for the exercise, by all stakeholders in particular by journalists and media actors, of their rights of freedom of expression, in a more pluralistic and safer media environment, in line with the standards as set by in accordance with Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
What is the goal(s) and objective(s) of the action?
• to improve judicial application of European standards in freedom of expression and media related cases
• to strengthen the media regulatory authority in exercising its mandate and independence
• to increase effectiveness of the media actors in performing their rights and duties in line with European standards
Who benefits from the action?
• the independent authority in the field of media regulation (the Independent Media Commission)
• civil society organisations working in the field (Association of Journalists) and media actors
• Professionals in different fields including judges, prosecutors, police officers, lawyers as well as university students
• the general public
How does the action work?
• by providing legal advice to improve alignment of legal and regulatory frameworks to the relevant European standards
• by providing research and policy support in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of the media
• by offering capacity building activities for the various professional categories, anchored in the European standards and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
• by facilitating regional dialogue and exchange of good practices, in synergy with the regional action
What do we expect to achieve?
• improved protection and promotion of journalists' rights and media freedom as a result of enhanced skills and capacities of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and law enforcement agencies in upholding European standards for freedom of expression.
• a more effective oversight and regulation of the media sector, ensuring ethical practices and quality journalism through increased capacities and awareness of the media regulatory authority regarding applicable EU standards
• a vibrant and more independent media landscape that informs and empowers the public thanks to improved effectiveness of media actors in fulfilling their rights and duties in accordance with European standards.
What is the budget of the action?
• The total budget of the action is 550,000 EUR;
• The budget allocated to the overall Horizontal Facility programme amounts to ca. 41 million EUR (85% funded by the European Union, 15% by the Council of Europe).
How to get more information?
• Council of Europe Directorate General I: Human Rights and Rule of Law
• Horizontal Facility website and e-mail address
About Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye
The “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye 2023-2026” is a joint initiative of the European Union and the Council of Europe that enables the Western Balkans’ Beneficiaries and Türkiye to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law, and democracy and to comply with the European standards, which is also a priority for the EU enlargement process.
This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence