The 30th General Assembly of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE), organized by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), has started its work, which is being held in the city of Bugras, Bulgaria. This year’s topic is “Together for true news”.
The opening ceremony of the Assembly was attended by the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov, the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism, Ilin Dimitrov and the Mayor of the Municipality of Burgas, Dimitar Nikolov.
ABNA-SE, whose purpose is to enable cooperation between news agencies from the region, as well as to contribute to the creation of a climate of peace, friendship and cooperation in the Balkans, will also have a legal status as it will be registered in Bulgaria.
In his opening speech, the executive director of BTA, Kiril Valchev, emphasized the importance of the registration of ABNA-SE and the further work of this Association. While discussing the importance of true news and the great work that news agencies do in the Balkans and throughout Europe.
“We already have cooperation agreements, and we exchange news every day with eight of the 12 news agencies that are part of ABNA-SE. And we are interested in expanding the same cooperation with other news agencies, and this is really very important, to exchange confirmed news with each other”, he said.
Whereas, in his speech, the current president of ABNA-SE, Skënder Krasniqi, said that since the creation of ABNA-SE, hundreds of meetings have been organized and in all of these, the need to register the Association was emphasized, following the example of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA).
“It’s been almost 30 years since ABNA was founded as an organization, and so far, it has organized dozens of meetings that have made an extraordinary contribution to unification. During all these meetings, it was also discussed about the need to register as an organization and have official documents, just like other organizations. And as you can see, this day has come, with the expression of Kirill’s (Valchev) will and desire, and with our support, ABNA is finally being made official also with documents”, said Krasniqi, who also recalled last year’s meeting during the 29th Assembly that was held in Prishtina.
Through a letter, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, also welcomed the 30th Assembly, who appreciated the cooperation of the Balkan agencies and bringing true news to the public.
“The 30th General Assembly is an important opportunity for journalists from the 12 Balkan countries to exchange experiences and information directly, which is also the main goal of the Balkan News Room, as a common space for news from Southeast European countries. This initiative is very important, because regardless of how close we are, we must be able to cooperate without any external mediation”, said Radev.
The Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister, Atanas Pekanov, in his speech, said that the news agencies are doing what politics sometimes fail to do in the Balkans, which is close cooperation for the sake of the public.
“I appreciate this organization; you are very important to your audience. Politicians are nothing without you but you are doing more than them. This cooperation should be an example for other fields as well”, he said.
The 30th Assembly continued its proceedings behind closed doors where a number of decisions are expected to be taken. Balkan news agencies gather in this format once a year. The 29th General Assembly of ABNA-SE was held in the capital of Kosovo, Prishtina, in 2021, under the organization of KosovaPress. Otherwise, KosovaPress became a full member of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) in 2017.