Good journalistic stories about the EU integration process help changing the prevailing perception about EU integration – often seen as “governmental issue and a bureaucratic task” – into a story with a human dimension and concrete benefits. That was said at the award ceremony for the best journalistic stories within competition “Europe for me”.

The awarded journalists are: Borislav Višnjić,  from RTCG web portal, Bojana Komnenić from Radio Antena M and Darvin Muric, journalist of Daily Vijesti. They received a laptop, a phone and a tablet as a price.

Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Aivo Orav said that the awarded stories are diverse, informative and contribute to discussion about important issues with a practical impact on our daily life – ranging from food safety, through acquiring skills for employment to what shared values make us European.

“I am very proud that we can support reporting about these issues and I hope to see more stories of this kind in the future. We will invest further efforts in communicating EU accession and the way EU funds support Montenegro and its citizens, because it is in the interest of all of us that citizens are well-informed of both the benefits and obligations that arise from the EU accession process,” said Orav.

Free and professional media and journalists are truly a pillar of democracy and an integral part of a democratic society, without which the very corpus of human rights and freedoms is incomplete, said Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin. He emphasized that the affirmation of the idea of ​​a united Europe is one of the values ​​that is crucial for the further progress and development of Montenegro, which is recognized in the Montenegrin Constitution.

The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Montenegro, Fiona McCluney said that today’s awarding ceremony is the opportunity to talk about real life stories instead of indicators, benchmarks and progress reports.

“You – Darwin, Bojan and Borislav, as well as your colleagues journalists, you are the one who can breathe life to thousands of pages of the EU acquis. You are the ones who have demonstrated how the lives of people are changing thanks to the process of EU accession and assistance from the EU. Adopting EU values ​​and standards can only be honest if you point to successful examples, such as those for which you have earned the prizes we are awarding today,” McCluney said.

Journalist Borislav Visnjic emphasized that the role of journalists in every society is important, and that their responsibility in particularly increased in  European integration process. ”

It is in this process that we must clearly and accurately explain to the citizens the advantages and disadvantages of membership in the European Union,” he added.

The competition was announced in accordance with the “Strategy for informing the public on the accession of Montenegro to the EU 2014-2018”, and within the project “EU4ME”, financed by the European Union, and implemented by UNDP.