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Mancevski: The largest part of the budget – 19.3 million euros – will go to MRT, MRD and AAVMU

Skopje, 6 December, 2017 - 17:51 (META) 

The largest part of the budget for the Ministry of Information Society and Administration (MISA) in 2018 will be spent on “Macedonian Radio-Television” (MRT), Macedonian Broadcasting (MRD) and for the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AAVMU) said Minister Damjan Manchevski today.

He explained that the total budget of the Ministry for next year is 1.486 billion denars, which is actually 24.088 million euros, and is three and a half times bigger than the previous one. The largest part of these funds, ie 1.19 billion denars (19.290 million euros), wiRD,ll be for MRT, MRD and for AAVMU.

“With this, we have provided, first of all, stable and independent financing for these three factors from the broadcasting activity. This sustainable funding, finally, will give MRTV the chance to develop an autonomous and independent editorial policy”, said Manchevski.

Manchevski: The government will not interfere and the journalist should decide by themselves about the changes they want to see

Skopje, 24 November, 2017 - 21:21 (META) 

The government was lately called out that it wants to interfere in the media’s editorial policies. But the government doesn’t want to control the media nor it should, or it doesn’t want to be the driving engine of the reforms, but we wanted to provide the journalist’s with space and mechanism to make the reforms of the law to which we were victimized by, said the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski during today’s parliamentary session at which questions by MPs were posted.

He commented the debates about the changes of the Law for audio and audio-visual media services and the criticism that is directed towards the government as the proposer of the law.

-This is not the first draft of the law, as there were probably four versions. There were more consultations, public debates, and everything is a result of someone’s proposal where all of the parties took part in. Suddenly we were accused that we are interfering in the editorial policy. As soon as we accepted all suggestions and the debates we organized and other discussions, again we are under criticism, so I have a dilemma whether the Government should propose any changes – said Manchevski.

He said that if the proposed decisions aren’t accepted probably the journalist associations and other organizations should find another way to pass a bill that will suit them better.

The Government is surprised by Naser Selmani who expects decisive action and not promises

Skopje, 22 November, 2017 - 18:48 (META) 

The Government of Macedonia expressed its surprise because of the criticism expressed by the President of the AJM, Naser Selmani who said that the current government has tendencies that resemble the behavior of the previous governments.

Apparently, while replying to a question about today’s statement by Minister Damjan Manchevski, when he attended Metamorphosis’ “E-society” press conference, that the government mustn’t act as a driving engine of the reforms in the media sphere and the draft bill for audio and audiovisual services, AJN’s president said that the politicians mustn’t be trusted.

-It’s a bland platitude, but they are doing the opposite to what they are saying because there are tendencies that resemble the behavior of previous governments – said Selmani.

When he was told that they are surprised by his statement, Selmani said for Meta agency that the government should prove its claims by proposing a definite draft bill that will not contain fines.

We are journalists. We don’t believe in words as we do in acts. When the law passes at the government then I shall say “bravo.” In the last seven years, I heard plenty of similar promises – said Selmani.

Manchevski: the government mustn’t be the driving engine in the domain of media reforms

Skopje, 22 November, 2017 - 13:56 (META) 

The government mustn’t be the driving engine for the reforms in the media area and the draft-bill for audio and audio-visual services, said today the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski in the introductory speech at the 13th Conference “E-Society,” organized by the Metamorphosis foundation for Internet and Society.

-It is ironic to say that the Government should be the driving engine for reforms in the media sphere. The people who work in that sphere and the media itself should do that. We, as a government, the only ambition is to provide space, a debate and a mechanism. We are the tool for implementation of everything they think it should be done – said Manchevski.

The Minister said that the government is here to listen to what sort of changes are necessary, but that the debate should be useful and mustn’t last endlessly because decisions and solutions have to be made.

-Regarding the internet-portals that are publishing informative content, my personal proposal is that at least one editor should be declared and legally it should be determined that the portal mustn’t be owned by an off-shore company. I think we can accept that and that should refer to portals that are registered in Macedonia – said Manchevski.

The government is ready to abolish fines for the media and to increase the budget for MRT

Skopje, 20 November, 2017 - 15:15 (META) 

The goal of the Government is to create space and mechanisms where the media can self-regulate, because they should not be the author of media reforms, said Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski at today’s debate on the draft Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, which the Government organized as a continuation of the current debate with the media and the organizations.

In the nearly two-hour discussion on the extensive bill, leaders from the media and media associations called for more changes to the law, and the head of the AJM, Naser Selmani, who was accompanied by the Secretary General of the association and several members of the board of directors, also strongly criticized the current version of the bill. According to Selmani, the people in government who wrote the text for the law, are enemies of the media, and they also did a lot of damage to the government.

As pointed out by Mancevski and the Minister without Portfolio in charge of Communications, Transparency and Accountability, Robert Popovski, the Government is prepared to accept the remarks and to withdraw some solutions, such as the abolition of the 5.000 euro fine for the media and 1,500 euros fine for the person responsible for unprofessional journalistic reporting and hate speech, which was requested by Selmani and Lazo Petrushevski, the President of the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audio-Intelligent Services, but also other participants.

Regarding MRT, the government’s text of the law has been severely criticized because it provides too little money for the operation of the public broadcasting service, because 0.7% of the state budget is too little money for the public service. The government intends to increase these funds by a further 0.1% each year, and by the end of the four-year mandate, they intend to reach the level of 1% of the budget.

Mancevski: The Government will not initiate regulations on the work of the portals

Skopje, 14 November, 2017 - 17:38 (META) 

Today, Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski announced that the Government will not initiate changes on the Law on the Media, to regulate the work of the portals. However, he added that they remain open for suggestions on the law if professional associations consider it necessary.

“Amendements on the Law on the Media, if need be, should come at the request of media workers. I think that we need a consensus as a society if we need to look into this issue”, said Mancevski, while answering a journalist’s question after meeting with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir
Mancevski stated that Macedonia not only has a serious problem with fake news, but it is also a source of global fake news.

“We are working together and I have already talked to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, but also with our other helpers on how to address this issue on a global scale. In Macedonia, as a small country, we are a fairly large player in the field of fake news and within the framework of the Global Summit for the Western Balkans that will be held in spring, there will be a special panel for this topic only”, said Mancevski, adding that at the summit, large media outlets and international organizations will be invited.

In two weeks the government will publish 21 documents for greater transparency

Skopje, 31 October, 2017 - 17:32 (META) 

During today’s session, the government has passed the proposal by the Ministry of Information Society and Administration for publishing at the ministries’ web pages and other organs of state governance a list of enactments and materials that the ministries are obliged by regulations, to publish and to update them on time.

It’s a list of 21 documents that in the forthcoming 15 days should be published at the web pages, informed the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski.

Among the documents are the budgets, audit reports, plans for public procurement, list of information of public character, biographies, and announcements of monthly events or internet-calendar.

Manchevski: The control of communications surveillance is part of the reforms in the judiciary and UBK

Skopje, 28 September, 2017 - 17:51 (META) 

In four different priorities from the “3–9” plan – Parliament, judicial reforms, reforms in the intelligence and security services and the fight against organized crime and corruption, are included measures that refer to monitoring of communications. This was stated by the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Machevski at the promotion of the “Towards the citizens’ panopticon – A better balance between the protection of privacy and the need for monitoring communications.”

Manchevski addressed the problem with the massive surveillance for which the previous government was accused of and has passed on the efforts of the new government for introducing strong protection measures that will prevent illegal wiretapping.

-The government is aware of the great importance for an appropriate norming of the issues related to the monitoring of communications. No one has more reasons to be aware of that than us as we were the main target of the wiretapping. Therefore, it gives me a great pleasure that the civic organizations are making considerable efforts for overcoming the challenges and the open issues connected to the monitoring of communications – said Manchevski.

Manchevski: Next year we shall have a fully functional Central Population Register

Skopje, 6 September, 2017 - 17:50 (META) 

The reforms in the public administration are a significant part of the process of the EU integration and should prepare the country and the public sector to efficiently deal with the challenges with the Euro-integrations, said the Ambassador Samuel Žbogar during today’s press conference that was devoted to the “Go Digital – Assistance to the reforms in the public administration and strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Information Society and Administration” project.

He stressed that the managing with the reforms of the public administration is not an easy task and therefore an inclusion of the whole public sector is needed.

The Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski said that the project plays a key role in the modernization of the administration including its popularization among the citizens.

-Through new functionalities, the citizens and the business sector will have a chance to consult the government more often and directly including its institutions – said Manchevski, who also said that it’s about a new strategy for a reform of the public administration who is part of the second component of the “Go Digital” project.

He also said that next year Macedonia will receive a fully functional Central Population Register which will solve the citizens’ problems with the data bases i.e. the problems with the electoral roll will disappear, with the ID’s, the health security cards and other documents and data with which the citizens had problems with.

Mancevski: The government has hired 96 people, all employed through public job vacancies

Skopje, 28 July, 2017 - 15:04 (META) 

The new government hired a total of 96 people in all institutions together, out of which 32 are special cabinet advisers to ministers, and only 26 employees have been employed in Government, Minister of Information Society and Administration said Damjan Mancevski at a press conference today.

All new employments in state institutions were made through previously announced public job vacancies.

“In accordance with the law, each minister is entitled to three internal advisers from administration and three outside special cabinet advisers. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has three advisers, and for comparison, former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had 86 advisers. On the other hand, from June 1st to July 25th through out the municipalities, where the mayors are from VMRO-DPMNE, they had more than 300 people employed”, said Manchevski.

He stressed that the previous government illegally employed people in the period from the announcement of the elections on October 17, 2016, to the day the new government was formed.

“During this period, a total of 7,708 people were hired, and 4,473 people were hired on October 17th, out of which 2,312 people were engaged by part-time contracts, copyright contracts or volunteering contracts. We will call the competent inspectorates to take appropriate measures to sanction all institutions and individuals who have violated the laws”, added Manechski.