EU Delegation, Journalists Blast Parliament Decision Preventing Live Media Coverage in Albania

The Parliament has decided to keep journalists away from the halls of parliamentary committees. The Delegation of the European Union in Tirana on Thursday reacted to this, saying that the latest decision was taken by the Parliament without consulting the media and is not according to the instructions they gave.

"Public hearings and media access to Parliament to cover deliberations of plenary sessions and its committees are important features of a liberal democracy. We regret the lack of consultations with the media before the adoption of the new rules by Parliament," said the press release of the EU Delegation.

It added that these rules are not in response to EU guidelines or advice provided under IPA assistance, launched in this context in 2014.

This decision was approved a few days ago by the Bureau of the Parliament and provides that the media will follow their activity in a computer office where the activities will be broadcast in real time, but that the direction is done by the Parliament. Meanwhile, journalists held a protest in front of the parlimentary building and demanded to follow from the respective halls the meetings of the committees that take place or the parliamentary sessions. Journalists, mainly those involved in politics, said that the decision of the Parliament to exclude accredited journalists from the access of parliamentary committees is a clear violation of the work and freedom of the media. / argumentum.al