Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

Media and minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a path towards an inclusive and democratic society, Sarina Bakić, ÖGfE Policy Brief, 26’2023

This Policy Brief presents a broader overview of some of the most significant aspects regarding the role of media in building democracy in terms of the reinforcement and affirmation of minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, sexual orientation, geographic location, income level, etc. Once the mentioned media’s support and affirmation of minorities is accomplished, such groups can effusively participate in and contribute to this country’s institutions and society in general.

This is an attempt to revive and reconsider the issue related to minority cultural identities and communication via media in the context of the democratisation process in general. It is very much needed to open new discussions related to media and democracy due to the current global political crisis that is reflecting in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s media sphere as well.

Policy Recommendations

  1. State and entity governmental institutions at all levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina should provide sufficient financial support for all minority groups in the country to create and maintain their own media and media outlets.
  2. Mainstream and national media in Bosnia and Herzegovina should significantly increase the production of media content related to minorities, ethnic, national, religious, cultural, and other minority groups in the country, thereby becoming open spaces for cultural cooperation, exchange, and democratic participation and thus magnifying their potential as platforms and levers of the democratisation of society.
  3. Legislative reforms and changes in the domain of media law in Bosnia and Herzegovina are urgently needed in order to ensure that media is inherently plural, representative, and inclusive, as well as that it is fulfilling the demands of democracy.

Why this Policy Brief? Simply because democracy, the media aspect included, in Bosnia and Herzegovina is seriously threatened today.

The Policy Brief is published in the framework of the WB2EU project. The project aims at the establishment of a network of renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, universities, higher education institutes and policy centres from the Western Balkans, neighbouring countries and EU member states that will be most decisive for the enlargement process and Europeanisation of the region in the upcoming years. The WB2EU project is co-funded by the European Commission under its Erasmus+ Jean Monnet programme. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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