The action “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PRO-FREX)" enables the beneficiary institutions and civil society organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina to progress towards meeting their reform agendas in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of media, in line with the European standards.

It aims at contributing to an improved environment for the exercise, 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.

This action is implemented within the joint programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” running from 2023 until 2026.

What are the goals and objectives of the action?

  • to promote freedom of expression and freedom of the media and to improve the application of European standards
  • to enhance the protection of journalists and contribute to the creation of an enabling, safer and more pluralistic media environment
  • to strengthen the skills and knowledge of the actors who are responsible for applying such standards as part of their daily work

Who benefits from the action?

  • independent authorities in the field of media regulation (Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media) and access to information (Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Protection of Personal Data) and their staff
  • associations of journalists and media actors
  • professionals such as judges, prosecutors, police officers, lawyers, broadcasters, journalists, other media actors, university students
  • the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina

How does the action work?

  • provision of legal advice to improve the alignment of legal and regulatory frameworks to the relevant European standards
  • promotion and production of research and policy support
  • awareness raising events among duty bearers and rights holders of the relevant European standards
  • capacity-building activities for the various professional categories, anchored in the European standards and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
  • facilitating regional dialogue and exchange of good practices, in synergy with the regional action

What do we expect to achieve?

  • The capacities of the judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and legal professionals to apply the standards related to Freedom of Expression, Safety of Journalists and Digital rights  will be further improved
  • The media community and other CSOs will have increased awareness and tools related to the safety and protection of journalists
  • The media regulator will have additionally strengthened their capacities to design and implement regulatory practices in line with European standards
  • The Personal Data Protection Agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina will have their capacities further improved to fulfil its regulatory and supervisory function in line with European standards, including Convention 108+ of the Council of Europe

What is the budget of the action?

The total budget of the action is 560 000 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?

About Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye

The “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” 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.