Jean-Claude Juncker Copies Rama’s Anti-Media Narrative

During a joint press conference yesterday at the European Commission in Brussels, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker appeared to have learned a thing or two from Prime Minister Edi Rama’s insistent attacks on the “garbage bins” of the media.

In response to a question of Albanian journalist Erisa Zyka from ABC News directed to Prime Minister Rama, asking him for a response to the concerns in several European countries about Albanian organized crime, President Juncker responded as follows:

I can only advise you not to quote other journalists. Because that’s the game between journalists. Someone is writing, another is copying, a third one is writing, a fourth one is copying, and then you are putting your questions.

We are impressed by the reforms that have been undertaken in Albania. Also in the field, the one you are mentioning. But that was a question for Edi not for me.

Juncker’s response to a question that was not even directed at him was very similar to Rama’s recent claim that journalists simply transmit what they hear from each other “like a copper wire”:

You [the journalists] still don’t understand […] that you are part of this big problem, not in this concrete example but in general, where accusations crackle and you convey them like a copper wire and don’t have the duty to think or the responsibility for what you are conveying.

At the same time, the European Commission is sponsoring events such as EU-Western Balkans media days and organizing EU promotion bus tours to raise the “capacity” of Albanian journalists to cover the European Union. How can any of these initiatives bear fruit, when the leaders of the European Union display such a contempt for the few independent and critical voices in the Albanian media that are left?