The European Broadcasting Union consortium of public-service broadcasters has written to key decision makers at the European Union to call for joint action to save its member in Bosnia and Herzegovina, BHRT.
The broadcaster is currently experiencing severe financial difficulties and could be forced to cease operations.
Bosnia and Herzegovina formally applied for membership of the EU on Monday and EBU director general Ingrid Deltenre has sought to intervene in BHRT’s ongoing crisis.
Deltenre said: “Because of insufficient and insecure funding, its huge debts and the inability to pay its employees (BHRT) is now in total financial collapse. This completely disables its ability to operate and fulfil its role in society.
“Public service media reflect the quality of national democratic institutions as much as they contribute to them. BHRT, the national public broadcaster, is the only media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has the mission to reach out to the whole population to inform and entertain… and to promote nation building and social cohesion.
“We are ready to provide professional and legal expertise and to join forces with the European Parliament and the European Commission to support the implementation of EU standards in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s media system. Urgent actions need to be undertaken to ensure the development of sustainable public service media in the country.”
The letter was sent to Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament.
BHRT’s portfolio of sports rights includes the likes of club football’s Uefa Champions League.