Foto: Pixabay

Donor: European Commission and the Balkan Democracy Fund to the German Marshall Fund of the USA and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade

The role of IJAS: project holder

Budget: EUR 997,770 (EC) + EUR 99,768 (BTD)

Implementation time: February 1, 2020 – February 1, 2023


In 2016 the European Commission commissioned a project Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety (hereinafter: WBP) that gathered regional journalists’ association – Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (IJAS), Association of BH Journalists (BHJ), Croatian Journalists Association (CJA), Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM).


The action was developed in cooperation between six organisations as a result of growing restrictions of media freedoms by the state in our societies, as well as a statement of readiness to tackle our position in cooperation.


The project allowed partners to form an informal network and build own capacities to monitor levels of media freedoms and safety of journalists, resulting in an online database of attacks against journalists and annual national and biannual regional (comparative) reports.


In 2018 the project continued with support of other donors, while in 2020 a new, three year project was commissioned by the EC.


The overall goal of the project is strengthening participatory democracy in the WB countries through regional cooperation of professional and reliable CSOs and their engagement in the process of relevant policy development and monitoring of their implementation. In case of Albania, the consortium does not have an adequate partner but will contribute to national efforts related to this issue.


Specific objective: Safety of journalists and media freedoms in the WB are improved through strengthened role of WBP members as effective and accountable independent actors in creation of relevant policies supported by a wider CSOs sector.


The specific objective of the project is to improve safety of journalists and media freedoms in the WB through strengthened role of SafeJournalists Network members as effective and accountable independent actors in creation of relevant policies supported by a wider CSOs sector. It will be achieved through:


  • Strengthening SafeJournalists members as organisations representing its members’ interest and provide credible data about levels of media freedoms and safety of journalists;
  • Securing endorsement of SafeJournalists members’ solutions through a broad and inclusive advocacy campaign focussed on key issues and facilitation of participatory consultations with beneficiaries and target groups
  • Engagement of the state authorities in consultations and collaboration with SafeJournalists members at a national level


Estimated results:

  • Tool-kit for measuring progress in the field of media freedoms and safety of journalists (database, Indicators report, Journalists’ Safety Index, alternative reports regarding Action plans, case studies);
  • NJA meet the needs of their members;
  • SafeJournalists Network is fully functional, visible and yielding results;
  • Broad campaign aimed at informing relevant stakeholders about trends and urgent issues related to safety of journalists (and media freedoms) launched to gain support for solutions proposed by SafeJournalists Network member;
  • Minimum 30 grass root organisations mobilised to contribute to campaign and participatory platform;
  • WBP members established stronger links with national and international human rights and rule of law CSO;
  • NJA are participants in variety of consultation platforms;
  • State authorities accept NJA models of participatory consultations based on regional experience


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