Freedom of expression and independent media are fundamental values of the European Union and important elements of Montenegro’s European integration process. Aware that professional, responsible, transparent, but also financially sustainable media are the cornerstone of any democratic society, the European Union continuously monitors and strengthens the Montenegrin media through various projects, programmes, education and investments.
Especially prominent is the Media Professionalisation Programme, through which the EU invested over 2 million euros in dozens of Montenegrin media through 15 projects between 2007 and 2021. The goal of the Programme is to strengthen the development of investigative journalism and support journalists and media organisations, especially at the local level, to follow the latest trends in journalism, while contributing to the democratisation of society and sparking a debate on European integration. In addition, it supports organisations that can educate audiences and strengthen media literacy in an era when democratic principles are threatened by disinformation.
The projects were dedicated to the development of investigative journalism and media literacy, training of journalists, support to local media, with a special focus on thematic areas such as the rule of law, environmental protection, consumer protection and professionalisation of media reporting on minorities.
The EU is additionally focused on the extraordinary circumstances in the media caused by COVID-19. “We will continue to stand on the side of free and independent journalism in Montenegro and look for further opportunities to help the media overcome the consequences of the pandemic,” European Union Ambassador to Montenegro Oana Cristina Popa said recently.