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Media Experts: Measures to Implement the EU-Moldova Association Agreement in the Part Related to the Media Are Not Enough and Need to Be Sped Up

21 December 2017
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The actions planned in the National Action Plan (NAP) for the period of September-November 2017 on mass media are insufficient; they focus exclusively on broadcasting and are not in full compliance with the provisions of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement (AA). This is one of the conclusions of the NAP monitoring report, presented by the experts of the Association of Independent Press on December 20, 2017. The report also contains recommendations to the authorities responsible for the field. One of the recommendations refers to the need to revise and supplement the Plan in the part concerning the media with more relevant actions.

The authors of the report, Aneta Gonta and Ion Bunduchi, presented the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the implementation of the NAP in the media field.

Aneta Gonta, who presented the quantitative analysis, mentioned that the answers to statements in the quantitative analysis of the implementation of the NAP gathered 7 points out of the 12 possible. She said that in the previous reporting period (June - August 2017), the quantitative analysis of the NAP implementation gathered 6 points out of 12, meaning about half of the commitments assumed.

“Therefore, this indicator grew a little, although it is not a significant increase. This difference is actually due to the inclusion in our quantitative analysis of the actions from previous periods, which have been realized only now, but also to the unplanned actions, which are, however, important for the development of the media system,” Aneta Gonta explained.

For example, statement number 1 – “Actions planned for the reporting period are sufficient, satisfactory, insufficient” – got 1 point, meaning the actions planned for September-November 2017 were insufficient. Four actions were planned for this period. The expert explained that this score was due to the fact that the four actions were insufficient, because, on the one hand, they concern only the broadcasting sector, and on the other hand, they are, in fact, legal and traditional functions of the Broadcasting Coordinating Council (BCC).

The answers to the qualitative analysis of the implementation of the NAP gathered 6 points out of 12, like in the previous reporting period (June-August 2017), meaning half of the commitments assumed.

Experts found that things stand still in this sense. Both experts concluded that the NAP is being realized at a pace that needs to be sped up.

Ion Bunduchi said that when analyzing performance, it is important to look not only at the actions taken, but also at the impact of these actions. “When we talk about the performance index of a seminar or a government decision, the performance index is not the decision, but the impact of this decision and how it is implemented, because we have an unpleasant experience in this regard – good rules that work poorly,” Ion Bunduchi explained.

Experts consider that the NAP included some actions that are not relevant, compared to the seriousness of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement. They recommended that the NAP should be revised and supplemented in the part related to the media so it complies with the provisions of the Association Agreement.

BCC member Olga Barbalata, present at the talks on the report, said that the quantitative aspect of the report should be compared to the data provided by media experts regarding the NAP, in order to see whether they match. She also disagreed with the qualitative aspect of the report.

In March 2018, the Association of Independent Press will publicly present the latest monitoring report on the fulfillment of commitments in the media field undertaken by the Moldovan authorities at European level.