Commissioner Hahn in Tirana, Albania for the EU-Western Balkans Media Days: Strengthening media in the Western Balkans

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will be in Tirana, Albania from 8 to 10 November to participate at the EU-Western Balkans Media Days. The event will gather over 250 representatives of media outlets and media-organisations, as well as policymakers from the EU and the Western Balkans, to discuss about freedom of expression, economic sustainability of the media sector, and the role of media in the accession process. Ahead of the visit, Commissioner Johannes Hahn said: “Freedom of expression is a fundamental value of the EU and as such a cornerstone of the enlargement process, with a strong and independent press as a driver of the democratic transformation. It is a pillar of open and prosperous societies everywhere. The launch of the EU-Western Balkans Media Days will broaden the scope of topics in order to discuss the media situation in the Western Balkans from various angles, like the change in the media landscape which requires new, innovative business models. I am confident that this conference will give a new impetus for strengthening media freedom and establishing a more vibrant, diverse and economically sound media landscape in the region, which is able to cope with the great challenges in the media sector“. Reports of the 2 panels and 6 workshops will feed into the final conclusions of the conference, which will be presented by Commissioner Hahn on Friday. The results of the conference will help adjusting the European Union’s approach to support and to strengthen the media sector in the Western Balkans. In Tirana, Commissioner Hahn will also meet with political authorities, including President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama, Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati as well as with representative of the opposition political parties. More information on the EU-Western Balkans Media Days is available online.  Photo and videos of the visit will be available on EbS.