Representatives of parliaments, regulatory authorities, PSM governance, senior management, and civil sector from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia adopted a set of regional common principles on PSM governance at a conference held in Belgrade 28-29 January.

The principles are based on European standards and concrete challenges and practices in the Western Balkans region. Major focus is on the independence and de-politicization of PSM governing bodies and the need for an open and transparent process for election of governing bodies’ members. The principles stress the importance of clear separation of powers between supervisory and managerial bodies, and their professional, transparent and accountable functioning. Participants acknowledged the need for strengthening the communication with the audience and engagement in proactive public diplomacy.

Head of Member Relations CEE Radka Betcheva says, that this is not a legally binding document, but it is very encouraging, that it is strongly supported by the key stakeholders from the six WB countries present at the conference. “The participants have definitely demonstrated a will for promotion and implementation of these principles in practice.  They have underlined the relevance of the principles and the challenges they address and see them as a useful tool for assessment and improvement of PSM frameworks and practices”, she added.

The work on the principles carried out by EBU and ORF experts and the organization of the conference is in the framework of a project funded by the EC and implemented by a consortium of partners – IFJ, EFJ, ERNO, BIRN, ORF and EBU.

The adopted principles are going to be sent to parliaments, governments, regulatory authorities, civil sector and PSM in the six countries. Many participants requested a high-level promotion of the principles and the support from the EC in this regard. The conference has elected focal points in each country for establishing of assessment groups on the implementation of the principles.