The Problems of Bulgarian Media Are Already a European Problem

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Bulgaria has a problem with transparency of media ownership and financing. The society does not know who (really) owns the media, or how are they financed even when it comes to public funds – either Bulgarian or European. This opacity is ideal environment for unhealthy dependencies between media, businesses and government to thrive, which distorts the media, economic and political environment, and deprives society of pluralism and independent journalism. It calls into question the respect of democratic values in the country, thus ranking Bulgaria next to Romania and Hungary and making the problems of Bulgarian media a European problem.
This is the diagnosis of Bulgarian media environment that has emerged from the meeting of Bulgarian journalists and publishers with EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Although we, in Bulgaria, have been long aware of this diagnosis, the outcome of the meeting is that the Bulgarian media problem is now a European problem. This is very important because, as even the European Commission admitted in its latest monitoring report, nothing happens in Bulgaria without external pressure. So as to have this pressure, the problems with media in Bulgaria should be discussed not only in our domestic web space by a group of active citizens but it should also be a subject of the political debates at European level. The European Union cannot remain indifferent when its core values are questioned in its own member states.
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