The Serbian Parliament Culture and Information Committee adopted Tuesday a conclusion stating that the Committee unequivocally supports the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) in performing its duties defined by law. This conclusion was proposed by Committee member Nebojsa Bakarec, an MP of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). Committee chairperson and People’s Party (NS) MP Sinisa Kovacevic also proposed a conclusion which did not receive majority support from Committee members.
„The board expects REM to act professionally, autonomously and independently in performing its responsibilities and to apply its powers in a completely objective manner,“ reads the adopted conclusion.
It further says that this parliamentary body condemns any influence on the independence and objectivity of REM’s work, as well as any kind of threats against REM or individuals representing it.
The conclusion proposed by Bakarec reads that the Committee has understanding for the REM Council’s decision to suspend work.
„The Committee believes that the work of REM and the safety its Council members as well as all REM employees are seriously threatened by threats, blackmail, pressure and insults, which have long been directed towards REM and individual members,“ reads the conclusion.
It says that the threats, pressures, insults and targeting culminated on December 8 when a swastika was drawn on the entrance to the building in which REM Council deputy chair lives, and notes that exerting pressure on REM Council members and its employees in the process of deciding on tender documentation is prohibited by law.
“The Committee calls on all political and media factors to stand up in the defense of REM’s independence and enable its unhindered work in line with the law. The Culture Committee most strongly condemns all threats, pressure and insults,” reads Bakarec’s version of the conclusion.
A meeting of the Serbian Parliament Culture and Information Committee was held on Tuesday, and the first item on the agenda was the suspension of work of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic media (REM). REM Council chair Olivera Zekic made a number of accusations against the media operating within United Media and stressed that the pressure exerted by these media led to REM’s decision to go on strike.
The REM Council decided on December 8 to suspend this institution’s work. It said the reasons for this decision were numerous and that the independence in the work of and the safety of Council members as well as of all REM employees was seriously threatened.