EU Commission repeats call for appropriate funding of STA

Slovenska tiskovna agencija (STA).

Brussels – The European Commission reiterated its call to the Slovenian authorities on Monday to ensure independence and appropriate funding of the public service provided by the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) as it responded to a question about a letter STA staff sent to EU officials.

The Commission confirmed having received the letter that the STA staff addressed to the top EU officials, including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a week ago, alerting them of the fact that the STA funding issue remains unsolved.

“The European Commission has expressed its serious concerns about this issue repeatedly as well as its expectations from the Slovenian government,” Adalbert Jahnz, a Commission spokesperson, said in response to the STA’s question about the letter.

“I can reiterate that the national authorities must ensure the independence and that it is crucial that they guarantee appropriate funding for the public service provided by the STA,” he added.

The Commission is “following closely the ongoing legal proceedings at the national level oh this issue” he said.

In the letter, which was also sent to European Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, the STA staff noted that two months had passed since Slovenia assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU when top EU officials raised the expectation for Slovenia to ensure the STA’s independence and financing.

Despite the Slovenian government announcing that the financing issue would soon be resolved, this is not the case, so the STA staff urged EU officials to support a renewed appeal to the government to “immediately and unconditionally provide funding for the STA”.

The letter also said that moral support by senior representatives of the EU unfortunately no longer sufficed.