Report: Media freedom in the Balkans is under threat

Methodical attacks on independent media are becoming endemic across Eastern Europe, and especially in the Balkans according to the first BFMI report, which looks at media censorship in Bulgaria, Serbia and North Macedonia.

EU member states such as Bulgaria are nestled among authoritarian states from the developing world in this year’s Reporters Without Borders’ 2021 World Press Freedom Index, in which Bulgaria ranked a shocking 112th out of 180 countries surveyed.

Other Balkan states eying accession to the EU, such as Serbia and North Macedonia, are characterised by domestic media markets where independent critical voices are forced to the fringes of public discourse.

Unfortunately, the EU appears to lack both the will and the tools to improve the situation.

This issue cannot be neglected any longer, especially since attacks on media in the Balkans are increasingly sophisticated and far-reaching said Antoinette Nikolova founder and Director of the Balkan Free Media Initiative in an op-ed.