Croatia's audiovisual media regulator is satisfied with the evaluation of its performance in a European Commission report, even though the report says it "functions transparently but it is not entirely shielded from political influence in relation to the selection procedure of the members of its governing body."
“We are satisfied with the evaluation of AEM’s performance in the Rule of Law Report released by the European Commission. The theoretical possibility of influence on the regulator’s political independence exists to the same extent as it does in other EU member states, given that Croatia follows the practice of a majority of EU countries in appointing the Electronic Media Council,” the Electronic Media Agency (AEM) said in response to Hina’s query.
The response came after the report said that the seven members of AEM’s Council, including its president acting as the head of the Agency, are appointed by Parliament based on a recommendation from the Government following a public call for expression of interest.
“The fact that Council members may be re-appointed for several terms and that the parliamentary majority has an important influence in the appointment of the Agency’s decision-making body may, in practice, have an impact on the political independence of the regulator,” the European Commission said, adding that the risk to independence and effectiveness of the media authority has been assessed as medium.
AEM has rejected media reports saying that the agency is not fully independent in its work, stressing that the appointment of the Council members is in line with European practice.