Brussels, 18 March 2023

Reporting from the spot - Sweden supports study visit of journalists to Brussels

Journalists play a crucial role in providing balanced and informative coverage of the EU membership negotiation process. To enhance their skills and knowledge of the EU accession process, a group of 15 journalists from North Macedonia participated in a study visit program to Brussels from 15th to 18th March, supported by Sweden.

During the visit, the journalists had the opportunity to attend the explanatory screening sessions for Chapter 21 - Trans-European networks, Chapter 14 - Transport policy, and Chapter 27 - Environment, and meet with high-ranking EU officials to discuss the importance of transparency and responsible media reporting in the EU accession process.

The visit aimed to provide journalists with practical reporting experience from the explanatory screening sessions and an understanding of the specificities of the EU accession process. They were able to witness firsthand the discussions between North Macedonia and EU experts during the sessions, providing them with insights that they could use in their reporting. Additionally, the journalists had the chance to meet high-ranking EU officials and representatives of the diplomatic corps, including Ms. Mikaela Matuela, Director for the Western Balkans in the Unit for Albania and North Macedonia in the Directorate General for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Ms. Jasna Jelisic, Head of the Working Group for the Western Balkans in the European External Action Service, Mr. Simon Mordue, and Ms. Maja Kocijančič, advisors for foreign policy in the cabinet of the President of the European Council Charles Michel. The journalists also met with H.E. Ambassador Istok Jarc, Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union, and H.E. Ambassador Irena Andrasi, Permanent Representation of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. These meetings enabled the journalists to establish connections with high-ranking EU officials and understand the importance of transparency in the integration process and the possible challenges in the EU accession process of North Macedonia.

The study visit program provided the journalists with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the EU accession process and discuss important topics of public interest related to the accession process with high-level EU officials. By improving their reporting skills and knowledge, the journalists can play a vital role in ensuring transparency and responsible reporting in the EU membership negotiation process.