Vujica Lazovic, deputy prime minister for Economic Policy and Financial Systems and EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre
The EBU's director general has called on the government of Montenegro to increase funding for RTCG, the country's public service broadcaster.
In a meeting in the Montenegrin capital with Vujica Lazovic, deputy prime minister for Economic Policy and Financial Systems, Ingrid Deltenre said RTCG Director General Rade Vojvodić had increased efficiency, raised quality and increased market share. But she said the broadcaster's current government funding - 1.2% of the country's operational budget - was simply insufficient to meet its obligations.
With an annual budget of c. €9 million - €1.6 million from advertising, and €7.4 million from the budget - RTCG has one of the lowest incomes of any public broadcaster in Europe. Mr Vojvodić say RTCG needs €12 million simply to survive, while €15 million would enable it to invest in more original programming. RTCG also requires substantial funding to digitalize its production facilities.
Mr Lazović said the Montenegrin government was well aware that quality public service media are a hallmark of true democracies, and he said the government would meet soon to discuss how to make RTCG sustainable. It was very appreciative of the achievements of the new DG.
Consideration is being given away to link funding for RTCG to Montenegro's gross national product rather than to the budget, which has suffered several cuts over recent years.
Mr Lazović said Montenegro's economy is expected to grow in 2013, in which case it would become possible to finance RTCG according to a formula linked to gnp.
A beneficiary of the EBU's Partnership Programme, RTCG is implementing a strategic plan developed two years ago with the assistance of former EBU Vice-President Boris Bergant.
For more information on the EBU's Partnership Programme, click here.