EC "watching closely media situation in Serbia"

(Beta/AP, file)

EC "watching closely media situation in Serbia"

BRUSSELS -- The EC is watching closely the media situation in Serbia, and is in constant contact with the authorities, ombudsman and representatives of the civil society,

This is according to Peter Stano, spokesman for EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, who spoke in Brussels on Tuesday.

The freedom of speech is a key principle in the EU and has an important place in our annual reports, Stano told a news conference.

He did not comment directly on the concerns that Dunja Mijatovic, a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on freedom of the media, voiced regarding the censorship on the internet in Serbia and the prime minister's public response that the criticism was without grounds.

"We took note of this and we are in constant contact with representatives of the government, civil society and ombudsman," he said, adding that the European Commission (EC) commends the government's intent to implement the media strategy and pass a set of media laws.

The situation in Serbia has been watched more closely since Serbia became a candidate country and opened EU entry talks, he said.

The media-related issues will be addressed in particular when Serbia opens Chapter 23 (fundamental rights and freedoms) and Chapter 10 (information society), the spokesman said.

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