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11 April 2014: SEEMO joins new transnational monitoring project

May 25, 2022 Others 2014 disabled comments

SEEMO joins new transnational monitoring project
‘Safety Net’ to support journalists in Italy, Southeast Europe

Apr 11, 2014

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), today announced its participation in “Safety Net for European Journalists”, a project creating “A Transnational Support Network for Media Freedom in Italy and Southeast Europe”.

SEEMO’s partners on the project are the Rovereto, Italy-based Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso (OBC), part of the Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti; the Rome-based Ossigeno per L’Informazione; and Dr. Eugenia Siapera of Dublin City University.

As part of the project – which is financed by a grant from the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology – SEEMO on Feb. 1 began monitoring and documenting in detail press freedom violations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia – Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. Ossigeno on Feb. 1 began similar efforts in Italy.

In addition to a special annual report, SEEMO plans to publish a practical manual advising journalists how to respond to threats and press freedom violations. SEEMO also will organise a public presentation of the initial results of its monitoring during the South East Europe Media Forum, currently slated to take place in Skopje in October, and, starting at the end of April, plans to present on its website regular updates on project-related developments.

“OBC and its partners work together to establish a truly transnational public sphere, starting from the grass-roots and involving European citizens to discuss issues that are fundamental for democracy in our continent, like media freedom,” Luisa Chiodi, OBC’s scientific director, said. “With an innovative approach, we want to overcome the EU democratic deficit, strengthen the European political project and contribute to a citizens’ Europe.”

SEEMO and Ossigeno representatives stressed the importance of the project.

“In the first 37 days of 2014 Ossigeno recorded in Italy 73 intimidations of journalists, cameramen, bloggers and writers,” Ossigeno representative Rossella Ricchiuti said. “The data shows a 100 percent increase compared to 2012 and 2013, during which an average of one intimidation a day was recorded. With the latest episodes, the count of journalists who are victims of intimidations, threats and/or abuses since 2006 and held by Ossigeno has exceeded 1700.

“The data comes from the daily monitoring carried out by [OBC] through a systematic consultation of media sources and the collection, verification and classification of inputs coming from the representative organisations of journalists, and from a rising number of reports coming directly from the interested journalists. Intimidations include threats, damages, public insults, slurs, frequent abuse of the right to file lawsuits for defamation, the use of lawsuits and claims for damages without having asked for the publication of corrections or clarifications according to the law.”

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic labelled the state of press freedom in some of the countries covered by the project “alarming”, noting the approximately 44 journalists who remain imprisoned in Turkey and violations of the freedom expression, such as bans on websites or online content.

“In most of the countries covered by this project, we constantly have threats or attacks on journalists and we need to see legal changes,” Vujovic said. “In Montenegro and Serbia we have unsolved cases of attacks on journalists and many details connected to the killing of three journalists in Serbia and one in Montenegro still are not clear.

“There have been positive movements in Serbia, thanks to the work of a commission investigating the cases of murdered journalists, led by long-time journalist Veran Matic, but we still lack many answers. For example, this week marked 20 years since Dada Vujasinovic was killed in Serbia, but as of today no one has been arrested in connection with the case.”

Vujovic also cited a number of other recent press freedom violations in Southeast Europe, pointing out that Croatia’s criminal code still contains a provision against humiliation. The Croatian Journalist Association and SEEMO are urging the country’s Parliament to remove the provision.

On April 6, Vujovic noted, Greek police arrested Despina Kontaraki, a journalist with Eleftheros Typos, one of the country’s leading dailies in the country, and detained her for several hours after she was accused of criminal libel. The accusation was levelled against Kontaraki, publisher Aleksis Skanavis and journalist Giorgos Kouvaras after Eleftheros Typos published an article in which a politician was accused of supporting members of the far right party Golden Dawn.

“This case shows the power of a politician in Greece to silence journalists,” Vujovic commented.

In the Republic of Macedonia – FYROM, he continued, the state of media freedom has continued to worsen. In addition to constant pressure on the media by politicians and businesspersons, Vujovic said, state advertising expenditures remain extremely problematic, with many observers claiming that spending is directed only toward pro-government media outlets.

Vujovic said that SEEMO was also worried about threats against journalists and media companies and “clear press freedom violations” in Bulgaria and Romania.

Last week, the private car of Bulgarian journalist Genka Shikerova, host of the morning show on bTV, was set on fire in Sofia. The incident marked the second time that Shikerova’s car was set aflame, the first having come in last September. Vujovic said SEEMO was alarmed by the case and he urged authorities to solve it as soon as possible. He also labelled unacceptable other attacks on journalists, including a reported attack by Levski football fans on April 6.

In Romania, Vujovic recounted, a Romanian member of the European Parliament verbally attacked news channel Antena 3 during a live talk show, stating that he would shut the channel down. At the same time, the president of Romania has refused to enact adjustments made by members of parliament to the new Romanian Penal Code, which abrogate Article 276. The article makes it impossible for journalists to reveal to the public key information regarding judges’ decisions.

SEEMO called on EU institutions in Brussels to monitor more closely media developments and threats against journalists and media companies in EU member states, including Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.

“The project ‘Safety Net for European Journalists. A Transnational Support Network for Media Freedom in Italy and Southeast Europe’ is an important step for SEEMO not only to better cover press freedom violations in the countries it covers, but also to better inform the public about the strong level of self-censorship present in all of the countries covered by this project”, Vujovic said.

EC-AQUA – 2  Year cooperation project

May 25, 2022 Others 2011 disabled comments

About EC-Aqua

The project Implementation of ECVET for qualification design in sanitation and water loss management (EC-AQUA) is executed within the Lifelong Learning Programme Leonardo da Vinci, measure Transfer of Innovation.

EC-AQUA addresses the apparent problem of insufficient transparency of qualifications at both national and international level. In the context of ever increased complexity of modern education, EC-AQUA aims to promote the EU Workspace concept through an approach supporting transparency of certificates and qualifications for transferability of competence.
EC-AQUA activities are focused on transferring the ECVET specifications for sanitation and water loss management qualifications to develop a working scheme for transparency, transfer and recognition of learning outcomes. This is achieved on the basis of PROWAT TR/06/B/F/PP/178065 project, upgraded, innovated in content and widespread in new sectoral and geographic areas.

EC-AQUA model development process involves:

  • Establishment of a working partnership for project evolvement at national and EU level.
  • Preparation of an ECVET based EC-AQUA competence map and Qualifications Ranking Record.
  • Definition of certification units and allocation of ECVET credits.
  • Elaboration of a multilanguage e-learning portal in sanitation and water loss management.
  • Development of a guide to application of the new model.
  • Testing and evaluation measures.
  • Valorisation of the EC-AQUA scheme post-project life assurance.

EC-AQUA approach is developed by a consortium of partners from four countries: NIS-SU (Bulgaria), Intellect Foundation (Bulgaria), South East Europe Media Organization/SEEMO (Austria), Prof. Balan Interuniversity Research Center (Bulgaria), Institut National des Sciences Appliquées/INSA (France), and ERBIL Project Consulting Engineering (Turkey).They have wide experience in the EU programming development and capacity, expertise and competence for the success of the EC-AQUA measures.

How to gain competence

Training and competence has become an important part of European industry.In order to meet these requirements in the Water Supply and Management sector EC-AQUA project has created an innovative on-line training programme, organised in Learning Outcomes (LO). Each LO is defined in terms of knowledge, skills and wider competence development. The built comprehensive LO are designed for professionals working in the area of waste water treatment having core education corresponding to EQF reference levels 5, 6 and 7. These reference levels are assessed and validated by ECVET credit points and their successful completion provide upturn in careers which are now recognised as a major need for European knowledge – based society progress. Thus more profound understanding of the key environment requirements and waste legislation is envisaged.

The training is web-based and delivered on-line, and can be easily accessed by trainees on spot. Trainee can access the courses after registration and then are taken through a series of narrated Learning Pathways (LPs) that vary in size and content according to the chosen qualification profile and EQF reference level. The knowledge part of LPs is presented as a number of chapters and each chapter covers a specified element of training, with a self-test element at the end. A special section “Qualification descriptions” is designed, which provide information regarding knowledge (general and specific), skills (cognitive and subject-specific) and wider competence (social, organisational and technical) acquired upon completion of corresponding LP. When selected LP has been successfully completed a certificate is issued.

Our Achievements

The EC-AQUA project offers new strategy and content for training of teachers/trainers and professionals in the Water Supply and Management sector and strongly impacts the vocational training system and practices in national scale trough: introduction of innovative approach in structuring the learning programme, implementation of IT based tools for education of VET professionals at sectoral level, use of formal/non-formal training approach with the goal to improve the quality of qualifications and competences of VET professionals, and transfer of innovative training content to increase the proficiency of specialists in the target and related sectors. The specific structural organisation of the programme is designed to fit the requirements of VET system and EQF, comprising the obligatory elements of Learning Outcomes description: knowledge, skills and wider competence. This set of elements is organised in a way that can be assessed and validated. The assessment is performed through application of specifically elaborated self-assessment tests designed purposefully for each LO element. Thus the EC-AQUA project introduced the best practice in vocational education and training, and assisted in increasing the transparency and transferability of competence acquired.

Who we are?


Scientific Research Department of the Sofia University (NIS-SU) is the applicant organisation responsible for management of all financial matters, including partner contraction, funding distribution, supervision of partner activities. It takes part in building the ECVET based approach for qualifications description, transfer and upgrade of PROWAT products, testing and evaluation, valorization, and arrangement of popularization of the project products and the post-project life.


Intellect Foundation

As the EC-AQUA management coordinator, Intellect Foundation is responsible for the smooth development of overall project activities, including: project scheme design; development of specific activities, deliverables and outcomes; outlining the project valorisation policy and monitoring, and the post-project life.


The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is responsible for smooth project operation in the South East Europe region. It takes care of organization of human and financial resources and development of project results in German, their testing and evaluation.

IUC “Prof. Balan”

Prof. Balan Inter-University Centre for Research, Innovations and Technologies (IUC “Prof. Balan” ) takes part in the transfer of innovation through evaluation of the learning outcomes in accordance with ECVET/EQF, certification, publication of training and dissemination materials electronically and in print.


Institut National des Sciences Appliquées / INSA -Toulouse has vast experience in problem- and project-based education and active learning methods within international research networks. The LISBP (INSA, CNRS, INRA) is cited as one of France’s leading public laboratories. INSA-Toulouse offers research .

ERBIL Project Consulting Engineering Ltd.

ERBIL offers the EC-AQUA project valuable learning materials and additional resources for upgrade of e-knowledge, translation of its updated parts from English to Turkish and testing. The international contacts ERBIL in the field of waste management.

Das Projekt „Umsetzung von ECVET für ein Qualifikationsdesign im Bereich der Sanitärversorgung und des Wasserverlustmanagements” (EC-AQUA) wird innerhalb des Programmes für lebenslanges Lernen Leonardo da Vinci, Maßnahme Innovationstransfer, durchgeführt.

EC-AQUA befasst sich mit dem augenscheinlichen Problem der auf nationaler wie auch internationaler Ebene vorherrschenden, unzureichenden Transparenz von Qualifikationen. Im Zusammenhang mit der wachsenden Komplexität moderner Bildung zielt EC-AQUA darauf ab, das Konzept des EU-Arbeitsraumes durch einen Ansatz zu fördern, der die Transparenz von Zertifikaten und Qualifikationen und somit eine Übertragbarkeit von Kompetenzen unterstützt.

Die Aktivitäten des EC-AQUA konzentrieren sich auf die Übertragung der ECVET-Spezifikationen für Qualifikationen in den Bereichen Sanitärversorgung und Wasserverlustmanagement, um ein Arbeitsschema für Transparenz, Transfern und Anerkennung von Lernergebnissen zu entwickeln. Dies wird auf Basis des PROWAT Projektes TR/06/B/F/PP/178065 erreicht, das aktualisiert, in seinem Inhalt erneuert und in neuen Sektoren und geografischen Gebieten verbreitet wird.

Der Entwicklungsprozess des EC-AQUA Modells umfasst:

  • Die Etablierung einer funktionierenden Partnerschaft für Projektentfaltungen auf nationaler Ebene wie auch auf EU-Ebene.
  • Erstellung einer auf ECVET basierenden EC-AQUA Kompetenzübersicht und eines Qualifikations-Ranking Verzeichnisses
  • Definition der Zertifizierungseinheiten und Zuteilung von ECVET-Leistungspunkten
  • Erarbeitung eines mehrsprachigen e-Learning Portals für Sanitärversorgung und Wasserverlustmanagement
  • Entwicklung eines Leitfadens für die Anwendung des neuen Modells
  • Prüfungs- und Bewertungsmaßnahmen
  • Verwertung des EU-AQUA Schemas für die Gewährleistung der Nachprojektphase

Der EC-AQUA-Ansatz wurde von einem Konsortium von Partnern aus 4 Ländern entwickelt:
NIS-SU (Bulgarien), Intellect Foundation (Bulgarien), South East Europe Media Organization/SEEMO (Österreich), Prof. Balan Interuniversity Research Center (Bulgarien), Institut National des Sciences Appliquées/INSA (Frankreich), und ERBIL Project Consulting Engineering (Türkei). Sie verfügen über weitgehende Erfahrung in der Entwicklung von EU-Programmen, sowie der notwendige Kapazität, Expertise und Kompetenz für den Erfolg der EC-AQUA Maßnahmen.

Die EC-AQUA Quelle
Das Vorprojekt PROWAT bietet
Einen Überblick über den Zustand der Wassermanagement-Richtlinien und –Tätigkeiten in der Türkei, Belgien, Griechenland, Finnland, Italien und den Niederlanden.

  • Ein Buch zu den Grundlagen von Wasserwirtschaft und Reduktionsstrategien von Wasserverlusten in 7 Sprachen (Englisch, Türkisch, Griechisch, Französisch, Italienisch, Niederländisch und Finnisch)
  • e-Kurse, die als Online-System für nicht-formales Lernen für Wasserwirtschaft organisiert sind, um gemischte Lernmethoden auszunutzen.

PROWAT Erweiterung:
Das EC-AQUA-Projekt verbessert die von der PROWAT-Initiative erbrachten Leistungen durch:

  • Eine Verbesserung des innovativen VET-Programms für Wasserversorgung und Wasserverlust-Management, um in einem bestimmten Gebiet angewandt zu werden (nämlich Sanitärbereich).
  • Eine breit gefächerte, neue interaktive e-Plattfom, die als wissensbasiertes Schema für die Аnerkennung innovativer Qualifikationen in Übereinstimmung mit den ECVET und EQF-Spezifikationen organisiert ist
  • Sozialer und ökonomischer Mehrwert im Wasserverwaltungssektor mit einem speziellen Fokus auf Strategien zur Verbesserung der sanitären Wassereinrichtungen.
  • Bereicherung durchdie Erfahrungen des türkischen Beratungsunternehmens ERBIL Project Consulting Engineering und seinen PROWAT-Partnern

Moldova: Law for the amendment of the Code of Audiovisual Media Services

November 15, 2021 SEEMO Reactions from Countries / Regions disabled comments

Vienna, 5 November 2021 – The South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) strongly supports the letter written by the EBU Director General Noel Curran to Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, President Commission on Media, Parliament of the Republic of Moldova

Dear Mrs Nicolaescu-Onofrei,
On behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the association of public service broadcasters, please allow me to congratulate you on your new position as President of the Commission and wish you a successful mandate.
I am writing to express the EBU’s concern about the proposed Law for the amendment of the Code of Audiovisual Media Services (No 174/2018), which we believe has the potential to lead to the political subordination of the Supervisory and Management bodies of TRM and direct interference in its editorial policy. We are also concerned by the exceptionally short time envisaged for public debate of these important changes to the legal framework and the apparent lack of proper consultation.

Independent and trusted Public Service Media has a particularly important role for societies in transition. In order to fulfil this function, it should be empowered via proper governance structures to operate independently from political pressure and interference. Credibility and trust will only be achieved through independent and balanced reporting of important developments in a country.
We would consider proposed amendments to involve the Parliament directly in the appointment and dismissal (for broad and undefined reasons) of the Director General to be a backwards step in ensuring the autonomy and independence of TRM. In addition, a new power for Parliament to dismiss the entire supervisory body (the Supervisory and Development Board) each year by rejecting the annual activity report would inevitably place TRM under even more political pressure.
Council of Europe Recommendation No (2012) 1 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on Public Service Media Governance provides that: “Securing and safeguarding independence is a primary role of any framework of public service media governance, and this is why independence has been at the heart of all of the relevant Council of Europe standards.” In addition, the European Court of Human Rights, in a case directly concerning the governance of TRM, held that States have a positive obligation to put in place a legal framework to ensure the independence of PSM from political interference and control (Manle a.O v. Moldova, no 13936/02).
We would respectfully ask you to grant appropriate time for public consultation on the proposed amendments and to take due account of our concerns expressed above.

We remain at your disposal to discuss these issues in further detail and to share examples of best practice across Europe.

SEEMO Alarmed: Supreme Court liquidated the Belarusian Association of Journalists

September 2, 2021 SEEMO Reactions from Countries / Regions disabled comments

Vienna, 28 August 2021

On 27 August 2021 President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime liquidated Belarus’s only independent journalists’ association. Upon a lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Belarusian Association of Journalists – BAJ (ГА “Беларуская асацыяцыя журналістаў) for allegedly violating the legislation on associations.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is alarmed about this state act. BAJ members were important partners of SEEMO in promoting press freedom, some of them are also SEEMO members.

BAJ had been the target of a major investigation since 9 June. On 21 June 2021, BAJ received a state request to provide to state officials administrative and financial documents on its activities, including lists of its members.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) has documented hundreds of arrests, detentions and fines, as also dozens of criminal cases and prison sentences against journalists in Belarus.

BAJ is among dozens of human rights organisations and NGOs in Belarus that are targeted for liquidation.

“SEEMO is calling for international solidarity with BAJ and all other organisations. We call on the European Union, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations, as also representatives of all democratic states, to react urgently. What happened in Belarus in the past weeks is a new way of fight against democracy and human rights by authorities of a country”, said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.

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Perugia Journalism Festival SEEMO Panel: Who…

July 23, 2021 Others 2016 disabled comments

Who's fighting against corruption in SE Europe: the media or the police?

Journalists in South East and Central Europe are often filling an institutional gap and doing investigations in cases of corruption instead of state authorities, including investigation of corruption inside the police. Instead of state authorities, journalist examine business practices of oligarchs, find people on wanted lists, investigate questionable deals involving family members of politicians in power, compare the reported salaries with the extravagant lifestyles of managers working in public companies, investigating financial and other irregularities in the churches. Journalists are working on these issues closely with civil society organisations, national authorities and financial institutions, and also international anti-corruption groups. Journalists do it in difficult conditions, and sometimes at great personal risk. Good investigative journalists may expose criminality and help bring criminals to justice, but they are not officers of the law.