The halting of the strategy’s development marks a continuation of the delay in the adoption of this document, which defines the state’s policy in the media domain for a five-year period. The previous strategy ceased to be valid at year’s end 2016, at which time the new one was due to be adopted. However, the deadlines have been missed several times.
The working version of the strategy, which was written without the participation – for various reasons – of the largest and most relevant journalists’ and media associations, was due to be subjected to public debate. However, the entire process was then halted after consultations with the Prime Minister and the President, to the surprise of both the media community and representatives of the Ministry of Information.
A new working group is now expected to be formed, though it is not yet certain whether it will include members of relevant associations. According to announcements, the process of writing and adopting the strategy will be monitored by the OSCE.
According to a statement by Gordana Janković, head of the Media Department of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, apart from overseeing the drafting of the strategy, this organisation will also be a facilitator of the process “that should be transparent and inclusive”.