Yesterday, the Council of Europe issued a public alert on its Platform for the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists, about the amendments to the Electoral Code, which could have a negative impact on the freedom of media in Macedonia. According to them the Macedonian state is the source of such a threat to the freedom of the media.
This alert follows after the request of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia to the CoE Platform, which in its reaction refers to the joint statement of the AJM, the Independent Union of Journalists and the Council of Media Ethics.
“Several amendments to the Electoral Code were passed on 25 July 2018 by the Macedonian Parliament in a fast-track procedure, as a result of a political agreement between the leaders of the four main political parties. An amendment to the Electoral Code empowers the State Election Commission to register and monitor online media reporting on the elections. In addition, the Article 181a of the law provides for fines of up to 4,000 Euros to traditional and online media for their “unbalanced or impartial reporting,” was stated in the alert of CoE Platform.
The warning was addressed to the Parliament of Macedonia, which in the following period is obliged to explain these changes that limit the freedom of the media.