Regulatory Bodies

The Broadcasting Council of the (Former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia (BC, established by the Law on Broadcasting) is the public regulatory authority for the broadcasting sector. According to Article 21 of the Broadcasting Law, it “shall ensure the freedom and pluralism of expression, the existence of diverse, independent and autonomous media, economic and technological development of broadcasting activity, and protection of the interests of citizens in broadcasting”.

Article 37 defines the Council’s duties: it decides on frequency allocations, renewal and revocation; it monitors the respect of the Broadcasting law and related legal provisions concerning programs’ content; it reviews complaints from the citizens in regard to radio and television programming; it adopts recommendations related to the broadcasting policy and gives opinion in the preparation of laws related to the sector. According to Article 15 of the Broadcasting Law, the Broadcasting Council also investigates media ownership. Following Article 15, the Council “shall order the broadcaster to bring into accord its operations with the provisions of this Law within a deadline no longer than three months from the day the existence of the illegal media concentration was determined”.

Members of the Council are experts in the fields of journalism, communication, informatics, legislation or other areas linked to the broadcasting industry; their mandate lasts six years. The number of Council’s members has recently been increased from nine to 15.

The Agency for Electronic Communications (AEK) was established by the Law on Electronic Communications (“Official Gazette no. 13/2005, 14/2007, 55/2007, 98/2008 and no. 83/2010) in 2005 as an independent regulatory body accountable to the Parliament, in charge of the electronic communications sector. An internal Commission has the duties of adopting the agency’s statute, the procedural rulebook of the agency, and to oversee the plans for its work. The Commission is composed of five members with a five-year mandate. The agency regulates issues related to construction and maintenance of electronic communications networks, use and control of the radio and frequency spectrum, protection of privacy in the electronic communications.

The Commission for Protection of the Right to Free Access to Information of Public Character (established by the Law on Access to information) is an independent body and its main task is to ensure that public officials provide the information when requested by the public; in general it monitors the implementation of the Law. Furthermore, it compiles a list of public bodies holding information. The Commission is composed of five members appointed by the Parliament for a five-year term.

Self-Regulatory Bodies

The Ethical Commission (also referred to as Council of Honour) works under the Association of Journalists of [the Former Yugoslav Republic of] Macedonia as a self-regulatory body. The Commission was created in 2001 and its main task is to implement the Code of Ethics and check the respect of the ethical principles it contains. It is composed by seven members from different media contexts and elected by the Assembly of the Association of Journalists.

The Association of Journalists initiated in 2010 the establishment of a Council of Ethics for Media, a tripartite self-regulatory body composed of representatives of editors and journalists, media owners and representatives of civil society in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Throughout 2012, this association held consultations with a number of editors and media owners, but also with its own members about the importance of self-regulation and the variety of models that could be applied in the country.

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