27 May 2021
The Independent Media Commission (IMC) welcomed today the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Mr. Michael Davenport. The Ambassador was received by the Chairman of the IMC Mr. Xhevat Latifi and the Chief Executive Officer of the IMC Mr. Luan Latifi.
In his introductory speech, the President Mr. Latifi said that he is happy that the cooperation with the OSCE has existed since the establishment of the IMC as an institution and expressed his readiness as President to further deepen this cooperation between institutions. Mr. Latifi also informed Mr. Davenport about the most important activities of the IMC, in fulfillment of constitutional and legal obligations, with special emphasis on its commitment to the completion of the process of transition to digital broadcasting, the problems brought by dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the financial difficulties that the IMC is facing as a result of budget cuts that have directly affected the work and institutional and financial independence of the IMC.
The OSCE Ambassador of Kosovo, Mr. Davenport thanked for the meeting and added that the long institutional cooperation between the OSCE and the IMC has been satisfactory and confirmed the readiness of the OSCE that this cooperation will continue to advance further. Appreciating the importance of the IMC institution, he expressed his commitment to continued support in the implementation of the highest standards in the field of regulation of audio-visual media services. The Ambassador also said that he is aware of some difficulties that the IMC has encountered since the beginning of its work, based on his experience he has in developing institutions in the region, he is impressed with developments in Kosovo. In terms of developments in the field of media, the whole world is being challenged with numerous ways of abusing freedom of expression, so it is impressive the work and commitment of the IMC, where a special emphasis has been given to Media Literacy , including the IMC 's cooperation with the OSCE and other institutions.
While the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Latifi thanked the Ambassador Mr. Davenport for the visit and for the continuous support that the OSCE has provided to the IMC, while facing difficulties as an institution. Regarding the IMC challenges, the Chief Executive Officer mentioned that the main challenge remains the financial independence of the IMC as well as the completion of the digital switchover process. There is a stalemate in this issue, but it should be clarified that the IMC has fulfilled its legal obligation and has submitted to the Government for approval the Digitalization Strategy four times until 2019, but they have never received an answer why this Strategy has not been supported. The IMC therefore expects continued support from the OSCE in addressing these challenges. Despite the various challenges, including the obstacles posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the IMC has continued its commitments, especially in terms of Media Literacy, where it has signed Memorandum of Cooperation with the Department of Journalism at the University of Prishtina, Kosovo Media Institute, Commission Central Election Commission and the Agency for Gender Equality. The Chief Executive also clarified about the new Draft Law of the IMC, where the amendment was initiated by the Assembly in 2017, but has never been finalized and is now again in the legislative program of the Government. The IMC has not been notified of this step, they have only seen the announcement made by the Government. The new law should, however, be harmonized with the EU AVMS Directive and address all comments previously submitted by the Council of Ministers on this draft law.
The Independent Media Commission