EU Info Centre hosts briefing for media representatives “How to report on the EU financial assistance to BiH – IPA programmes”

The EU Info Centre in cooperation with the BiH Directorate for European Integration (DEI), organised a briefing for the media community in BiH on how to report on the EU financial assistance to BiH – IPA programmes on 23 May in Sarajevo. Journalists, editors, media freedom advocates and experts were invited to hear more about tools, sources and types of the EU financial assistance in BiH, focusing on the enlargement process, with the overall aim of efficient reporting.

Addressing the journalists, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH Melvin Asin, emphasised that the media are a very important stakeholder in EU efforts to the country’s integration process. “The EU representatives in their public appearances often talk about the funds allocated within projects, in form of loans or grants, and sometimes, the figures are very impressive. Media in BiH mostly put all the attention only on the funding. In my opinion, that is the least important and the least interesting part of the media coverage. I would like to see more results of our work, the outcomes achieved and benefits for ordinary citizens in BiH in future media reporting”, said  Asin.

Spokesperson of the Directorate for the European Integration (DEI) Marina Kavaz – Siručić, underlined that the purpose of the event was to provide media representatives with information on the EU pre-accession assistance to BiH. “The focus of my today’s presentation is on the current method of reporting in BiH, and the most common misconceptions, not only in the media, but also in general public regarding the pre-accession assistance“, concluded Kavaz – Siručić.

Between 2007 and 2013, Bosnia and Herzegovina benefitted from EUR 615 million from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), which aims at providing targeted financial assistance to countries which are candidates and potential candidates for membership to the EU. A second phase of IPA, from 2014 – 2020, is now under way with at least EUR 165 million allocated for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first stage. In particular, IPA helps to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law, reform public administration, carry out economic reforms, promote respect for human as well as minority rights and gender equality, support the development of civil society and advance regional co-operation, and contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction.