How to Respond to “Fabrications,” An Example from Serbia

In an interview for the Croatian newspaper Jutarnji Vijesti, EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin has accused the Albanian media of spreading “fake news” and “fabrications,” in relation to the reporting on the dubious acquisition of the official residence of the EU Ambassador in Tirana.

Rather than providing a full and transparent account of the acquisition process, transaction, and contract, the EU Delegation in Albania has been hiding behind EU spokesperson Maja Kocijančič. Until her Croatian interview, Ambassador Vlahutin has not provided any evidence in Albania that would show the acquisition of the residence in Rolling Hills by the European Union has been according to the high EU standards.

An example from Serbia

That the response of an EU delegation can be very different, is shown by a recent example from Serbia. In response to an article published on February 4 by daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti, under the title “EU Delegation under Suspicion for Corruption?,” the EU Delegation in Serbia provided a lengthy and detailed defense of the EU Delegation’s action, giving a full disclosure of the case in question, supported by references to the appropriate EU regulations.

In other words, rather than accusing the media of “fake news,” the Serbian EU Delegation provided an argument and a request to Vecernje Novosti to publish the rectification. This is perhaps an example that the EU Delegation in Tirana, and Ambassador Vlahutin, could take to heart in the future.