August 27: Minister “surprised” at aid freeze for media watchdog
August 26: Broadcast Council chairman unconcerned by EU freeze
August 25: Europe suspends assistance to Broadcast Council
July 25: Anti-Corruption
Council's Media Requests Dodged
June 11: Another
Broadcast Council member resigns
May 27: Controversial
ninth member appointed by parliament
May 12: Wife blows the
whistle on broadcast lies >> link
April 25: Broadcast
Agency Council appoints ninth member
April 18: Media associations
object to monitoring appointments
Minister “surprised” at aid freeze for media watchdog
August 27, 2003 | B92
BELGRADE, August 27 2003 – The decision of the European Agency for Reconstruction to freeze 300,000 euros earmarked for Serbia’s Broadcast Agency Council had come as a surprise, Culture and Media Minister Branislav Lecic told B92 today.
Lecic said there had been no mention of suspending the assistance at a meeting with the European Commission and the OSCE last month.
“Now suddenly this looks like some kind of blackmail. It seems that the battlefield has moved from home to abroad, with certain political circles had applied pressure for this decision to suspend aid,” said Lecic.
Lecic condemned what he described as powerful lobbies exerting influence at a European level in their own interests.
“I personally think that this is not a sound policy, the policy of all those who think they can give their own government a slap on the wrist through Europe in this way,” he said.
The decision by the European Commission and the European Agency for Reconstruction is the first time that Europe has suspended aid to Serbia since the popular uprising of October, 2000.
The programming and coordination director of the Agency, Hasso Molineus, told Radio B92 that the European Union must be certain in every case of financial assistance that the funds would be applied in line with democratic procedures and the rule of law.
“In this particular case those procedures were not honoured and we are unable to support a process which has certain flaws, and this is why we are temporarily freezing these funds,” said Molineus.
“The main message is: if you have rules and procedures, please honour them,” he added.
Lecic, meanwhile, was unconcerned by the freezing, saying that the Broadcast Council Agency would be funded from frequency licence fees and that operating costs would be covered from the state budget until that revenue began to come in.
Broadcast Council chairman unconcerned by EU freeze
August 26, 2003 | Beta
BELGRADE, August 26 2003 – The Broadcasting Agency Council has no knowledge of any funding by foreign or local organisations for its operations, chairman Nenad Cekic said today.
“There has been no discussion about donations of either funds or other resources with the Council and the Council has never officially signed any document,” Cekic told media.
Cekic claimed that the only body authorised to provide resources for the Council’s operations was the Serbian Government, which had provided funding almost two weeks ago.
“The Broadcast Act does not cover foreign donations, especially not directly. If there are donations they can be received only via the Serbian Government,” he added.
The Council chairman also predicted that once the Council began granting frequency licences early next year, it would be generating more revenue than it would be able to spend
Europe suspends assistance to Broadcast Council
August 25, 2003 | Radio 202
BELGRADE, August 25, 2003 – Three major European organisations are to decide in the next few days whether to offer financial assistance to the Broadcast Council Agency, after earlier plans for aid were suspended, Belgrade Radio 202 reports today.
The organisations involved are the European Agency for Reconstruction, the European Commission and the OSCE.
Deputy Prime Minister Miodrag Isakov said today that the problem was not so much a matter of funding, but of whether the Broadcast Council would be able to function properly without the support of the OSCE and Europe in general.
“I don’t think it’s wise to force the issue and insist on a Council which does not enjoy support from Europe.
“I believe that the Council should be re-elected because it has lost all credibility and authority in the course of the election process which was repeated a number of times,” said Isakov.
The deputy prime minister also said that it was of the utmost importance to resolve the issue so that the Broadcast Council could begin resolving key issues of the media and broadcast frequencies.
“Someone is obviously eager to profit from the presence of people who forced their way onto the Broadcast Council so that frequencies would be allocated to suit someone’s needs,” said Isakov, underlining the need for the issue to be investigated.
In the meantime, the latest issue of the Official Gazette report that the cabinet has approved five million dinars from budget reserves for the Broadcast Agency Council.
Council on the brink of collapse
July 25, 2003 | Beta
BELGRADE -- Friday -- The Anti-corruption Council
said today that its very existence will depend on
talks with Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic and
the Serbian Government's readiness to support measures
aimed at preventing corruption.
Promptly afterwards Council member Nikola Milosevic
tendered his irreversible resignation.
Members are to decide whether or not to collectively
resign following a meeting with Zivkovic, currently
out of the country, and member Ivan Lalic confirmed
to Radio Television Serbia that the issue was discussed
at today's Council meeting.
According to a Council statement, they are proposing
implementation of stringent anti-corruption legislation,
which includes the law preventing conflicts of professional
interest for state practitioners.
However, the Council stress, on the law governing
the financing of political parties has been ratified
to date, and even this will not be applied before
The statement adds that a Council request for full
disclosure of public company board positions held
by Serbian Government representatives has yet to be
Media requests dodged
The Anti-Corruption Council has not been informed
of the government's stance on a proposal to form an
independent auditing company to investigate the legality
of the operations of Radio Television Serbia, TV Pink
and a number of other media firms.
They added that the government also ignored a request
that the Broadcast Agency Council members be recalled
and re-elected to ensure the procedure for formation
of the Agency Council was fully adhered to.
According to the government's press office, documentation
allegedly detailing illegal financing of the G17 Plus
party has been submitted to the Council; although
the anti-corruption team refute this, insisting that
they were actually sent a private submission of Bank
Recovery Agency director and money-laundering accused
Another Broadcast Council
June 11, 2003 14:50 | B92
BELGRADE -- Wednesday A second member of the Broadcast
Agency Council, Vladimir Vodinelic, resigned today
after the Council refused to discuss his proposal
that Kosovo representative Goran Radenovic be dismissed.
After leaving the Council session, Vodinelic told
B92 that he could no longer take part in the work
of the Council because the members were not concerned
that some of them had been appointed in procedures
which violated the laws.
“This time the Council has refused to do its legal
duty,” said Vodinelic, quoting the Broadcast Act which
stipulates that the Council will propose that the
parliament dismiss any of its members who are found
to have submitted untrue information in connection
with their candidacy.
Three of the seven Council members who attended today’s
meeting were in favour of Radenovic’s dismissal.
member appointed by parliament
May 27, 2003 13:35 | Beta
BELGRADE -- Tuesday – The Serbian Parliament has
today cleared the way for the Broadcast Agency Council
to begin work by appointing Goran Radenovic as the
ninth and final member of the independent body.
Regulations of the watchdog’s formation stipulate
that the ninth member should live and work in Kosovo,
and although Radenovic’s identity card, issued in
1994, states that he is a resident of Pec, Kosovo,
he is believed to reside in the Montenegrin capital
of Podgorica after fleeing the troubled province in
MPs of both opposition and DOS parties have challenged
the condition excluding Radenovic, who was nominated
by previously appointed members of the Agency on 11
After parliamentary speaker and acting Serbian president
Natasa Micic introduced Radenovic as a journalist
from Pec, his appointment received the backing of
137 MPs, with 59 opposed.
Those voting against included DOS members from Dragoljub
Micunovic’s Democratic Centre and Nebojsa Covic’s
Those voting in favour included the opposition’s
Socialist Party of Serbia and People’s Party of Socialists.
During discussion of Radenovic’s proposed membership,
MPs of Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia,
New Serbia and the Serbian Radical Party expressed
doubts that Radenovic lives and works in Kosovo, insisting
that their information shows that he lives in Podgorica
and works for TV PINK.
Amongst other things, the Agency will be responsible
for the distribution of frequencies to the Serbian
object to monitoring appointments
April 18, 2003 20:29 | B92
BELGRADE -- Friday – Three of Serbia’s largest media
associations have lodged a demand with the parliament
for the dismissal of two members of the newly-appointed
Broadcast Agency Council.
The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM),
the Spektar Association of Private Broadcasters and
the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists
claims irregularities in the appointment of Nenad
Cekic and Vladimir Cvetkovic.
They also allege a potential conflict of interests.
The associations say that the appointments were in
breach of media legislation which stipulate that the
biographies of candidates for the Council must be
published thirty days before their appointment.
“The public was bypassed in the process of nominating
these people and deputies were not informed of the
proposed candidates skills and abilities.
“There is reason to suspect that, Cvetkovic’s extremely
radical opinion of his competition in the industry
could significantly affect the objectivity of the
Council’s work,” said the statement released today.
The three associations emphasised that their objection
to the appointments in no way affected their determination
to support the establishment of the Council.
The Broadcast Agency Council is to be established
under Serbia’s new media legislation as a watchdog
for breaches of broadcast regulations.