about the conference
conclusions and recommendations
speakers and presentations
participants and observers
photo gallery
further information

Media ownership and its impact on media independence and pluralism in South East Europe and EU accession countries

The findings of this research project, 18 reports and a regional overview, are now available in book format (in English, 500 pages) or e-book format at this website.


About the Conference

The concentration of media ownership, both globally and at the national level, is causing increasing concerns, especially due to its potentially harmful effects on media pluralism, diversity and professional standards in journalism. Concentration of media ownership, and foreign ownership in particular, has become one of the central controversial topics in South-Eastern Europe and new EU member countries as well.

Having in mind the importance of the issue, the Media Division of the Council of Europe and the South-East European Network for Professionalisation of the Media (SEENPM) organised a regional conference on this topic that brought together over 80 speakers and participants, including public officials, parliamentarians, media professionals and non-governmental organisations from South-Eastern Europe and new EU member countries. All major organisations currently working on the issue, as well as media policy researchers with expertise in the field took part in the event.

The opening statements were given by Ms. Andreja Rihter, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, and Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

The overall objective of the conference was to examine the situation in South-East European and new EU member countries with regard to concentration of media ownership and the problems linked to it and to recommend policy changes in the field.

More specifically, the conference was aimed at:

  • discussing problems concerning the development and implementation of regulation related to media ownership concentration at the national, European and global level, with emphasis on South-East European and new EU member countries;
  • reviewing media ownership patterns in South-East European and new EU member countries, problems of transparency, and their impact on media pluralism and independence;
  • reflecting on the role of international organisations, governments and parliaments, media professional organisations and media monitoring organisations in relation to media ownership concentration and its impact on pluralism and independence of the media in South-East European and new EU member countries;
  • making recommendations on changes in media policy at the national and European level;
  • encouraging co-ordination of efforts of organisations working on policy, regulation, monitoring and advocacy projects related to media ownership and its impact on media pluralism, diversity and independence.

Detailed results of the SEENPM research project on media ownership patterns and their effects on media freedom and pluralism in South-East European and new EU member countries were presented throughout the conference.

At its final session, the Conference adopted a set of conclusions and recommendations, underlining the democratic, social and cultural significance of the media, and calling for specific measures to protect and promote media pluralism.

The conference took place within the joint framework of the SEENPM project on media ownership, led by the Peace Institute Ljubljana (an SEENPM member), and of the Stability Pact Programme in the media field implemented by the Media Division of the Council of Europe.

The funding for the Council of Europe programme is provided by the governments of Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The SEENPM media ownership project is funded by the Open Society Institute, the government of Denmark and the Guardian Foundation.

© 2004, peace institute