The German ambassador to Belgrade, Thomas Schieb, said that conditions for a fair election campaign in Serbia had to be set up prior to parliamentary elections and that the media played a key role in the process.
“The pandemic has been a challenge for all democracies. After a state of emergency was lifted in Serbia, the conditions surrounding national polls haven’t become less complex,” Ambassador Shieb told daily newspaper Politika in an interview published on Sunday (17 May).
He explained that in terms of a dialogue between the ruling parties and the opposition, mediated by the European Parliament (EP) it was very important to implement quickly and sustainably the moves agreed at the negotiating table.
“The media play a key role in this. It’s precisely due to the strong impact television has on public opinion that it is necessary to respect the strict standards of balanced and neutral reports,” Schieb said.
“An election campaign should be an arena for the best of ideas to compete with each other, a place for an objective debate without excessive emotions, not an opportunity for personal confrontations and offending opponents, because it can only deepen the apathy of citizens and, by extension, hurt democracy,” he added.