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10. 07. 2015

The Coalition of Journalist and Media Associations: Unlawful Decision of Zagubica on the Co-Financing of Media Projects

Belgrade, July 22, 2015 - The Coalition of Journalist and Media Associations, consisting of NUNS, UNS, NDNV, ANEM and Lokal pres, says that the decision on the allocation of funds on the competition for the co-financing of media content production projects in the Municipality of Zagubica has been passed in serious violation of the Law on Public Information and Media and the Rulebook on the financing of projects for the realization of public interest in the field of public information. The Coalition calls upon the competent authorities to promptly remedy all irregularities.

Under the Law and the Rulebook, the publishers of media funded from the public budget are not eligible for taking part in the competition. Under the decision on the allocation of funds for the co-financing of projects, signed by the President of the Municipality of Zagubica Safet Pavlovic, that municipality has allocated as much as four million dinars, i.e. two-thirds of the funds earmarked for that purpose, to a media outlet that is not only financed from public revenues, but is also indirectly owned by the municipality.

The funds were namely allocated to "Radio Homolje", established by the Center for Culture and Education "Jovan Serbanovic", a municipal institution that, according to the latest available newsletter on the website of the municipality, received from the budget of Municipality of Zagubica a total of 12,5 million dinars in the year 2013.

While according to the Coalition the expert commission on the open competition of Zagubica did assess the submitted projects, it was misled to believe that in the case of "Radio Homolje" there were no legal obstacles for the co-financing of that media content production project.

The Coalition insists on having the Municipality of Zagubica adopt a decision on the allocation of funds that will be fully in accordance with the Law and the Rulebook.

UNS, NUNS, NDNV, ANEM and Lokal pres  

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