The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its counterparts the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) are worried about the latest developments and upcoming reforms in Slovenia concerning the funding of the public media service in the country.
The proposed new law will see a drastic reduction in RTVSLO’s funding and is set to minimalise its role in the future. Slovenia will be proposing changes to the Mass Media Act and the Slovenia Press Agency Act. The period for public disussions regarding this issue consists of only 5 days, which is considered very short.
The Slovenian national broadcaster has been afflicted with financial challenges as its liscense fee has not been changed since 2012. The proposed amendments and changes will reduce the Slovenian broadcaster’s budget of circa 13 million euros, thus jeopardising its remit which by law has to serve the the country’s population with entertainment, information and education.
Mr.Noel Curran (EBU Director General) says:
We are profoundly concerned about the future of public service broadcasting in Slovenia. We have written to the Slovenian authorities today to raise our concerns and ask them to provide more time for proper public discussion of the changes to funding to ensure all views can be heard.
RTVSLO is an important democratic institution which significantly contributes to democracy. It should be guaranteed adequate, stable and predictable funding to help it fulfil its important remit to society.
Ms.Renate Schroder (EFJ Director) says:
The independence of RTVSLO is at great risk if this draft law is implemented without amendments. The Slovenian public deserves better. Public service media is there to broadcast for the public, be financed and controlled by the public. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown once more what a critical role it has and how trust improves when working within an independent professional framework.
Mr. Oliver Vujovic (SEEMO Secretary General) says:
In these hard times we need more than ever a well-funded, independent and strong public broadcasting service in Slovenia. We need an open publicdiscussion according to international standards, and all important stakeholders who may be affected with the change should have their say in the process.
The EBU, EFJ and SEEMO have requested the Slovenian government to extend the public discussion period and ensure the appropiate financing of the Slovenian national broadcaster so it can accomplish its goal in order to serve the Slovenian society and remain politcally neutral.