The Portuguese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Teresa Ribeiro has been appointed as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
She was unanimously appointed by the 57-member states during the 27th OSCE Ministerial Council meeting held in Tirana.
Along with her appointment, Helga Schmid was appointed as Secretary-General, Kairat Abdrakhmanov was named as High Commissioner on national minorities, and Matteo Mecacci is the Director for the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Ribeiro has served in several senior roles in the Portuguese government including those focussing on media and international relations. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Lisbon.
The Albanian government had previously nominated long-serving Socialist Party politician Ditmir Bushati to fill the role. The government called him “the top candidate for the position” despite Albania’s yearly decline in the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, and other concerning media-issues. It was also noted he doesn’t have any experience with media or journalism.
Sources in Vienna told Exit that the government had quietly withdrawn his candidacy. Bushati did not respond to any questions sent to him regarding the issue.