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MEP Milan Zver Demands A Response From The European Commission Regarding The Staff Purges At RTV

The “depoliticised” management of the national media outlet Radio Television Slovenia (RTVS) is “purging” the public institution of undesirable persons. The victims of a kind of media “night of broken glass” are journalists who are obviously too far removed from the state of mind of the collective of the activistic journalists of RTV and their political sponsors. The European Commission will also have to comment on these staff purges, and MEP Milan Zver has addressed three priority parliamentary questions to the Commission.

“At the public institution RTV Slovenia, all those who are not ideologically close to the extreme left and the current government have recently been removed from their positions. In the name of depoliticisation – which is, in fact, complete politicisation, the following have been removed: the Director-General of RTV, the Director of TV Slovenia, the Editor-in-Chief of the news programme, the Editor of the domestic policy, the Editor of the foreign policy, the Editor of the daily news programme, the Editor of the web portal MMC, and the presenters of the daily news programmes are also being removed. Programmes critical of the work of the current government are being removed. It has also been announced that programmes which expose the crimes of totalitarian regimes, especially communism, will be cancelled,” wrote MEP Milan Zver.

Zver went on to say that the above-mentioned purges are extremely problematic from the point of view of the European Commission’s efforts to pluralise, democratise and allow the media to operate without political interference. He addressed the following questions to the Commission:

– Will the European Commission obtain information on developments at the public institution RTV Slovenia, where support for the incumbent authorities is highlighted as a criterion of eligibility for editorial and other positions?
– What measures will the European Commission take to ensure pluralism and independence in the national public service institutions in the individual Member States?
– How will the European Commission monitor measures to safeguard editorial independence?

The question was signed by three MEPs, Milan Zver, Romana Tomc and Franc Bogovič.

Franc Bogovič: Milan Zver and Romana Tomc have decided to co-sign

MEP Franc Bogovič has addressed a separate parliamentary question to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on the disclosure of the former Chairman of the Programme Council of RTVS, Peter Gregorčič. Namely, Gregorčič revealed at a meeting of the Committee on Culture, which was discussing the Rule of Law Report 2023 on the media, journalism and democracy, that “with this report, the European Commission has clearly followed exclusively one political view, and in doing so, it has not fulfilled its supranational role, which it is entitled to do, but has allowed itself to be seduced by the particular interest groups that currently hold power in Slovenia, including, above all, those groups that are the holders of civil society power in Slovenia.”

In view of the censorship of government criticism in the report, the MEP posed the following questions:

– Have you so far been informed of any problems with the methodological integrity of the Rule of Law Report – namely, the Country Chapter Slovenia?
– What measures will you propose to the European Commission to correct these methodological flaws and ensure methodological integrity in the future?
– What is the reason for the European Commission not acknowledging it received the Complaint – Breach of EU Law filed by Dr. Peter Gregorčič, former President of the Programme Council of RTV Slovenia, within the 15 working days, as foreseen in the law?
– Why did you completely ignore/overlook the letter with the attached relevant documents from Dr Gregorčič dated the 30th of June 2023?

The question was also signed by MEPs Milan Zver and Romana Tomc. Meanwhile, MEP Ljudmila Novak did not choose to co-sign the question.

Ž. K.

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