The Association of Journalists of Macedonia thinks that the decision of the Ministry of Information Society and Administration (MIOA) for cutting the budget of the national public service for the current year is a dangerous precedent. Namely, with the projected budget for 2020 MRT instead of 0.9% of the national budget, again will have less money, and according to the calculations, their budget would be around 14.5 million euro. According to the law, the budget of MRTV should grow each year by 0,1% of the national budget, and this year was supposed to reach 0.9% while next year 1% of the state budget.
With this decision, MIOA violates the concept of financial independence of MRT, which is one of the two preconditions for free public services. We remind the Ministry that it has no right to predict how much the public service budget should be and this is an example of how the politics directly affect the way public service operates through unjustified cuts in the funds.
We demand the Ministry to withdraw this decision for cutting the funds, and with that and the election of new members of the management bodies, two preconditions for creating independent public service will be fulfilled. This will contribute to the reconstruction of the public service and the staff of MRT.
Aware of the need for reforms in MRT, we urge the government and the opposition to take responsibility and implement the media reforms before the dissolution of the Parliament. This will provide conditions for positive changes in the public service, which will benefit the public and the entire media sphere.