Presentation of the Fifth monitoring report on the work of the Agency for Electronic Communications and the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, and discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of 5G technology

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EUROTHINK – Center for European Strategies, NGO Info – center, Transparency Macedonia and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, on February 14th, presented the Fifth Periodic Monitoring Report on the work of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services and the Agency for Electronic Communications. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the pros and cons of 5G technology.

The findings from the periodic monitoring report on the work of both Agencies for the period September – December 2019 were presented at the event.

The findings from the monitoring of Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services work were presented by Biljana Bejkova, Executive Director of NGO Info – center, who noted that the Agency has maintained the continuity of solid accountability and transparency, the official website of the Agency is regularly updated with documents and other information related to its work, and Council sessions are public. Bejkova said that even in this monitoring period the Assembly did not elect new members of the Agency Council, the Constitutional Court did not initiate a procedure to assess the constitutionality of members of the Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, and the Guidelines on how to measure viewing and listening of the programs, ie the program services of the broadcasters. The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services implements all foreseen regular program and administrative supervisions, as well as a series of other activities arising from its mandate as a regulatory body.

Goran Lazarov, Project Coordinator from EUROTHINK – Center for European Strategies, referred to the work of Agency for Electronic Communications during the period under review. Lazarov emphasized that the Agency maintained the continuity of solid accountability and transparent operation. The increased activity on your Facebook page is to be welcomed. Minutes from the meetings of the Agency for Electronic Communications’ Commission are the only way to inform the citizens about the work of the highest body of the Agency. Superficial publication of information in the minutes does not satisfy their basic function and further endangers the transparency and accountability of the regulator. Recommended a complete change of approach to the preparation of minutes. In order to improve the public in its work, he reminded of the already expressed conclusion that it is necessary to approach a more detailed description of the public procurement, public meetings and the meetings of the Agency Commission on the website itself. Addresses the need for more complete and detailed information on the Agency’s public procurement, including procurement decisions and public procurement contracts. At the same time, to return to the previous practice of publishing the conducted public procurement on their official website.

Dimitar Bukovalov from the Ministry of Information Society and Administration – MISA, President of the National Office for Broadband Competencies (BCO) also spoke about the measures taken by the BCC regarding the penetration of new technology on the Macedonian market.

Igor Bojadziev, from the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC) discussed the Action Plan for 5G technology and gave a more detailed overview of the benefits that this technology will bring.

Bardil Jashari from the Metamorphosis Foundation drew a parallel between 5G technology and human rights, and stressed that it is important in the future for the expert public to be more involved in this topic, and to debate more openly the advantages and disadvantages of the new technology.

The event was attended by representatives of the institutions, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS), the Agency for Electronic Communications (AEC), embassies and civil society.

The report was prepared within the project “Monitoring the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of media regulatory bodies – PROformance Watch II” which is financially supported by the British Embassy in Skopje.

The fifth periodic monitoring report on the work of AVMS and AEK for the period May – August 2019, can be downloaded at the following link.

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The vision of EUROTHINK is to see the Republic of North Macedonia as a developed, democratic and liberal society based on the principles of justice, equality, freedom and prosperity. We see the EU integration process as the best instrument for achieving our vision.

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