OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir has sent his offices’ legal reviews on the Albanian government’s controversial “Anti-Defamation” package to the Venice Commission.
In a Twitter post today, Desir said that “this is an important opportunity to make further improvements before a new vote of the Parliament.”
I sent to Venice Commission @VeniceComm @CoE our legal reviews on #Albania draft laws on Audiovisual Media & Electronic Communications, after Parliament postponed the vote last week. This is an important opportunity to make further improvements before a new vote of the Parliament
— OSCE media freedom (@OSCE_RFoM) February 3, 2020
The law was passed in December 2019 but was then vetoed and returned to Parliament by President Ilir Meta who said it was unconstitutional, among-st other things.
Parliament was due to vote again on the law on 30 January but postponed the vote pending the opinion of the Venice Commission. The Commission, a part of the Council of Europe will assess the law to see if it violates the Albanian constitution.
The law was widely condemned by the CoE, EU, OSCE, international and local journalism and media freedom organisations and members of European Parliament. Despite the government’s claims that it had 100% approval from internationals, this was not the case.
Meanwhile, local journalists are planning to launch a self-regulation mechanism that will be announced in the coming days.