Jourova reiterates call for solutions for STA financing
Brussels, 21 May - Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova has again expressed the expectation that swift solutions would be found to ensure the sustainable funding and independence of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA).
In a letter to international journalist organisations, Jourova noted that the it was the duty of the Slovenian government to ensure the independence and appropriate funding of the public service provided by the STA.
It is a response to a letter addressed to the Commission by the International Press Institute (IPI) and another five media organisations in March expressing concern about the situation of media and journalists in Slovenia, in particular the attacks on the independence of the STA.
"Public media, including public press news agencies, play a special role in the European Union, and on several occasions, the Commission called on all Member States to refrain from attempts to put pressure on them," Jourova's answer says.
As for the financing of the STA, the commissioner noted that the European Commission had recently confirmed that Slovenia's funding to the STA was fully in line with EU state aid rules.
"We therefore expect that swift solutions can be found to ensure the sustainable funding of the agency", Jourova added.
She pointed to the 2020 Rule of Law report that notes that online harassment or threats against journalists are frequent and often not sanctioned in Slovenia.
"We are following very closely the developments since the publication of the first Rule of Law Report and will present our findings in the 2021 edition, which is planned for publication in July."
Jourova reiterated her intention to visit Slovenia to discuss broader aspects related to her portfolio, including the media situation, with the Slovenian authorities and stakeholders.