Europe: The EBU has issued a last-ditch appeal to the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities to save public service broadcasting in their country. As the Government has been unable to solve the funding crisis for BHRT to date, the EBU has reluctantly been forced to place the broadcaster on level three sanctions due to mounting debts.
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BHRT has accumulated debts to the EBU of over CHF 6 million over the last eleven years and, despite repeated efforts, has been unable to establish and follow a payment plan to repay any of the money.
The EBU has been actively supporting BHRT over many years in its attempts to secure sustainable funding from the government. It has been in constant contact with the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities – especially the Government and Parliament – to discuss the need for amendments in the law on public service broadcasting. However, the necessary amendments to the law have not been adopted, despite the many assurances and deadlines.
The financial situation at BHRT has been deteriorating over many years due to insufficient levels of funding caused by erosion of the licence fee, a weak collection system and substantial payment arrears from regional broadcaster partners. Bosnia and Herzegovina now risks being the only European country that could be without a national public service broadcaster.