The “Equal chances for all media” project aims to contribute to promotion of media freedom and media pluralism in Montenegro, in accordance with regulations of European Union and best international practices and standards. More precisely, the project aims to mitigate the process of creation of clear mechanisms for allocation and control over financing of media from public funds and allocation of state aid to media in Montenegro, in order to harmonise this system with international standards and best practices which encourage the development of media freedoms. The project is also focused on improvement of awareness of interested public in regards to responsible money expenditure from the budget of Montenegro, indicating on relation of public sector in Montenegro toward media, through financial allocations on various grounds. The public sector, as subject of research, according to Law on Budget of Montenegro, includes state organs, municipalities (local self-government units), independent regulatory organs, public institutions and companies wherein state or municipalities have majority ownership share, judiciary (courts and prosecutions), Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms and others.
The 2016 research included collecting data on media, informative agencies, public relations agencies, production houses, and etc. that were allocated financial resources from public sector organs on the basis of agreements on provision of services, specialisedservices, or other grounds. Analysis was produced that provides an updated and comprehensive overview of allocation of public funds on national and local level during 2016 to abovementioned subjects.
In addition, the publication contains review of media normative and institutional framework, as well as analysis of efficiency of implementation of Law on Free Access to Information and Law on Public Procurement.
Finally, in relation to underlying themes, the publication offers conclusions and recommendations for improving the existing state, including proposals for amendments of the relevant legislative framework. This report indicates paths which can be used to exert control and pressure on media and provides recommendations that would put an end to such poor practice, which deprives the citizens of Montenegro of their right to free and independent media, which accurately and impartially report on activities of government, political
parties and other institutions, as well as on other subjects of public interest.