Manchevski: Opposition block media laws for four months

Skopje, 12 June, 2018 - 18:01 (META) 

Today at a Government press conference, Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski requested a Parliamentary Commission for Transport, Communications and the Environment, chaired by VMRO-DPMNE, to work continuously on a daily basis, until the substantive debate on the Draft Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services is completed.

He said that the opposition should think about the interest of the citizens, instead of using numerous amendments in its fight to keep its own personnel in the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AAVMU) and in the Program Council for Macedonian Radio and Television (MRT).

“We are not against a debate regarding the amendments, but it must finish at a reasonable time. MPs from VMRO-DPMNE are against a public debate, namely, a public presentation of candidates for members of the MRT Program Council and the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services”, said Manchevski.

According to Manchevski, the opposition has been endlessly debating for four months, whose clear goal is delaying the law being passed. In doing so, says the minister, VMRO-DPMNE has submitted contradictory amendments.

He says the government will not give up its intentions to eliminate political influence from the media and that we should leave the media to work freely.

Manchevski: From the employees under the Framework Agreement, 958 will begin work

Skopje, 29 March, 2018 - 13:38 (META) 

A plan for the allocation of jobs in the public sector institutions to 958 people, from a total of 1,600, who are employed in accordance with the Framework Agreement has been created, said Minister of Information Society and Administration Damjan Mancevski and Deputy Prime Minister for implementation of the Framework Agreement, Hazbi Lika.

Employees are given a chance to refuse a position, however a second refusal will mean “cancellation” or termination of contract.

“It is important to note that if these people refuse to be allocated to the posts provided for them under the mentioned criteria, they will be transferred to the MISA transfer list. If they refuse again, their contracts will be terminated”, said Manchevski.

The employment of this group began in 2008, and until 2014-15, they were employed through advertisements in the Secretariat for Implementation of the Framework Agreement.

Mancevski: Digitalization overcomes gender differences and recognizes skills only

Skopje, 8 March, 2018 - 20:48 (META) 

Digitalization creates equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender, because the Internet recognizes only skills, knowledge and capabilities, said Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski at the first conference of its kind “The Digital Age and Women”, which took place today at the “Marriott” hotel.

The main topic of the conference was the role and significance of digital technology in the development of society, as well as its contribution to the equal participation of women and men in all social processes, including business.

“Another benefit of digitization, is that it creates a huge opportunity for economic development. It brings development, unites people and makes services faster, cheaper, and more efficient. It also contributes to the overcoming of gender gaps”, said Manchevski.

The minister told women to continue the fight for equality and stressed that in his office, there are six women who are professional and are the best at what they do.

He went on to say that very few women are in the administration, but the government plans to increase the number of women in politics by 50%, by 2020, with legislative changes.

Mancevski supported EU Commissioner Maria Gabriel’s call, that she would not accept participation in any conference, if there was not a minimum of one female participant.

Mancevski: Employees under the Framework Agreement may be redeployed in schools

Skopje, 8 March, 2018 - 20:08 (META) 

Employees receiving salaries under the Ohrid Framework Agreement, and do not attend the workplace, will be deployed in jobs other than public administration, but will also receive offers of work throughout the public sector, for example, in schools, kindergartens, health facilities and public enterprises, stated Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Mancevski.

He went on to explain that the 1,600 employees under the Framework Agreement will be offered positions, and if they do not accept, they will be placed on a transfer list from which they can be re-deployed, according to the needs of other institutions, but only if it is acceptable to them.

This move allows for changes in four laws and a practical intervention in the Public Administration Act.

Cheaper roaming doesn’t mean free roaming, says Manchevski

Skopje, 23 February, 2018 - 17:27 (META) 

The Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will have meetings related to the Digital summit in Skopje this April.

At the Digital summit, one of the announced subjects will be the discussion for a cheaper roaming between the countries of Western Balkans and the countries that are EU members.

“In Brussels, all European operators are working on this issue. I don’t know whether the current telecommunication map will be presented in Skopje or that will happen one month later in Sofia. The plan with concrete deadlines and tasks, who should do what in order for the roaming expenses to be decreased for all of the citizens of the Western Balkans towards the EU, will come out from this map. But that doesn’t mean this will be a free roaming. The Agreement for association and stabilization that we shall sign with all six EU countries forbids that. There shall be some expense but it shall be symbolic” said Manchevski.

He said that this will ease the work i.e. the state will not be dealing with the operators but that will be done through Brussels.

Manchevski: The reforms will contribute to depoliticizing of the administration and the data will be open

Skopje, 21 February, 2018 - 14:56 (META) 

The strategy of the reform of the public administration 2018-2022 that was voted at the government’s session plans four key area s- creation and exchange of policies, public service and management of human resources, responsibility, transparency and providing services and the IT support for the administration – informed today the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski.

He stressed that the strategy has a plan for depoliticizing the administration that, as he said, is one of the basic problems that were detected in the previous period. The depoliticizing will be conducted through the promotion of the selection procedures, employment and promotion based on the principle of estimation, equal and fair treatment, including an equal participation of all ethnic communities. Special attention will be given to the professionalization of higher ranking management structures and a special category for high ranking civil servants will be introduced.

The STrategy plans a defining the system of salaries and preparing a new law for salaries in the public sector. The goal is to determine a just system of payment of salaries that will be based on the “equal salary for an equal job” principle.

-A significant part of the Strategy presents the system for open data. It presents a strategic approach to openness and availability of information for which a serious personnel and technical preparedness of all institutions is necessary. The current level of the institutions is on a different level and that is the greatest challenge. A large part of this project is devoted to the training and the raising of the consciousness within in the institutions about the importance of this system. A large number of analysis, numbers, concrete data that were taken from various documents will be available. All institutions will be obliged to process all the documents as metadata in order to be easily interlinked and to allow comparisons, analysis and to survey the conditions – said Manchevski.

Main topics at Summit in April, digital connections for citizens of the Western Balkans

Sofia, 3 February, 2018 - 13:39 (META) 

Digitalization and digital knowledge can be the mechanism by which people from the Western Balkans will be able to integrate much faster and more easily into the European Union, said the Minister of Information Society and Administration Damjan Mancevski after meeting with EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel in Sofia.

He added that digitalization, ie digital integration of the Western Balkans, is what could help political integration happen faster, and this is beneficial for the citizens.

“The support of Commissioner Gabriel on this matter is important and the goals and plans of the program for her work. She specifically informed me about all the initiatives she has for the upcoming period and we expect concrete results from all plans. I used this opportunity to invite her to open it as a host country for the first Digital Summit in the Western Balkans. The prime ministers of the countries, the ministries of information and communication technologies will be present, but will also be attended by representatives of the countries from the Berlin Process, the media, and the industry”, said Manchevski.

He added that at the Summit they will be discuss many topics, for example how to improve the digital economy, but also how to improve the digital connection between countries and citizens.

“What we are focusing on is how to improve the digital knowledge of the citizens so that they can use the benefits of the services offered by the states and the system”, Manchevski added.

The minister said that all six countries of the Western Balkans came up with a specific plan for joining other European countries, so there is no more roaming.

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.