The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has expressed concerns that the Kosovan public broadcaster RTK will be undermined if the law on Public Service Salaries adopted on February 2 is promulgated by the country’s president.
In a statement, it says: “We believe that, in including RTK employees in the newly adopted law on Public Sector Salaries, there is a conflict with the current RTK law and the national constitution, which provide for the institutional and editorial independence of public service media. According to the current RTK Law the broadcaster is free to pursue its human resources policy as part of its institutional autonomy in an open, transparent and competitive manner”.
It adds: “RTK is an important democratic institution with a mission to serve all segments in society and it is of crucial importance to ensure its institutional and editorial independence in line with European standards, and in particular with the Council of Europe Recommendations 96 (10) on independence and 2012 (1) on governance of public service broadcasting”.
The EBU concludes by saying: “we also urge the authorities of Kosovo to adopt the new law on RTK that should ensure stable, independent and predictable funding of the broadcaster and provide sufficient safeguards for its institutional autonomy and editorial independence, including its autonomy on its human resources policy. Independent and strong public service media is an important precondition for countries wishing to join the European Union”.