Is "Free Press" ineligible for the EU?

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Although the editorial office started the procedure on time, from the EU press office in Brussels and from the EU office in Skopje we were not honored with even an elementary response to the request for accreditation of our journalists to report on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue in Ohrid, a regional topic from high interest for the public in our country.

Following and supporting the strategic determination of our country for full Euro-Atlantic integration, as a media daily we give special attention to topics related to the European Union, NATO, regional initiatives and the like. In that spirit, we intended to report from the spot about the meeting held in Ohrid last weekend between the Prime Minister of Kosovo and the President of Serbia, under the auspices of the EU, regarding the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.

Unfortunately, this time, for unknown reasons, we were ignored by the EU press service from Brussels, as well as by the EU home office in Skopje. We were not even honored with an elementary response to our request for accreditation of our journalists, who were supposed to report from the meeting on this regional topic of high interest to the public in our country. We were forced to inform her by referring to various communiques and statements from the summit participants received from foreign media, and we were the host country!

Namely, on March 9, our editorial team properly tried to accredit itself on the website of the European Commission, EEAS (the organizer of the Serbia-Kosovo meeting), in order to get permission to report on the event in Ohrid. Although, at first moment, it seemed a successful accreditation procedure, because we received a feedback from the office of the spokesperson for the foreign policy of the European Commission, Peter Stano, that they appreciate our interest as a media to report on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the email indicated to us that they will additionally contact us in the following days, all in order to complete the accreditation procedure.

However, more than ten days after the initial email to the "Sloboden Pechat" editorial office, there was no official notification from the EU whether our media was given permission to professionally attend and report from Ohrid. In the meantime, our request was repeated in a telephone conversation with the authorities in the EEAS (the organizer of the Serbia-Kosovo meeting) in Brussels; the result is known.

These days, "Sloboden Pechat" received information that the organizer of the event, the EU, to the same email address to which our editorial office sent a message on March 9, answered in the affirmative to the journalistic editorial offices of neighboring Serbia and Kosovo. Why this was not the case with our editorial office, we do not have an answer for now.

In order to clarify the situation, due to which our editorial office was denied information from the Ohrid meeting, we requested an answer from the office of the ambassador of the European Union in the Republic of North Macedonia, David Geer, as well as from the spokesperson for foreign policy of the European Commission. Peter Stano. The EU office in Skopje gave us a brief reply that it was not a matter of ignoring "Sloboden Pechat" in relation to why our editorial office did not receive accreditation for the event in Ohrid, but a brief explanation that it might be a matter of a failure in the coordination of Brussels with the media.

We do not want to believe that it is a matter of dosing information, or choosing suitable and unsuitable media. If it is a bureaucratic error, we can "swallow" that explanation as a media. At a time when the nation's support for our strategic aspirations for the country to become a full member of the EU - is fading, we believe that the gaffe of the EU bureaucracy (not only towards us) plays into the hands of the Eurosceptics, the on-duty sellers of fog and obscenities, the retrograde forces and generators of fake news, that is, it goes in favor of all those against whom our house opposes with its total media potential, and in the service of the public.

"Sloboden Pechat" is a leader in its category in the media industry in the country, a media of credibility and trust, built on the basis of the well-known postulates and principles of modern journalism. Uncompromising, constant critic and vigilant observer of all deviant phenomena and processes in society and in our reality. Being up to the task is devilishly hard work; our reader deserves timely, verified information, transmitted by a credible media. Everything else is playing with the truth.

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