Tackling of disinformation on MEP Zovko’s activities in the European Parliament

Brussels, 7 October 2019

Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko has been mentioned in a recent article of the website “Klix” on the possibility to become standing rapporteur on BiH in the European Parliament. However, the information used in the article was not in line with reality and contains disinformation.

This story reached the editors of the website “raskrinkavanje.ba”, who investigated the text of “Klix”and published their results in the article that you can read bellow.

For the original article, follow this link: https://raskrinkavanje.ba/analiza/klik-ba-i-anonimni-izvori-dio-drugi

Klix.ba and anonymous sources of information: Part two”

Usage of anonymous sources of information is a legitimate practice in journalism. However, they must be supported by a verifiable official source.

The case of the “Klix” portal information that Boriša Falatar might be elected to the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, published on the basis of an anonymous source was analysed in our article titled Usage of anonymous sources of information: the case of Boriša Falatar and the House of Peoples. The information was soon after publishing denied by the President of the party Predrag Kojović and was responded to by various other parties and portals.

The “Klix” portal did it once again. Namely, on 18 September they published on the basis of an anonymous source an article titled “Željana Zovko might replace Christian Dan Preda as a Special Rapporteur for BiH”.

The European Union is currently in the process of assigning the positions after the last elections. The new executive administration is being structured (European Commission); the new committees and various bodies are being established. What is very interesting for BiH is that the MEP from HDZ Željana Zovko might be appointed the new Special Rapporteur for BiH.

The article in Klix stated that “the information was received from the sources in the European Parliament” and that Zovko “was extremely interested in the subject position.”

Namely, according to the sources in the European Parliament, Željana Zovko is a serious potential candidate for the position of the Special Rapporteur for BiH, the position so far held by Cristian Dan Preda. Zovko is extremely interested in the subject position. However, the question is raised weather this would be a wise move of the European Union, considering the MEP Zovko’s so-far positions, particularly in the context of supporting the so-called Herzeg-Bosnia and the Six sentenced for the organised criminal enterprise during the war in BiH.

Usage of anonymous sources of information is a legitimate practice in journalism. Journalists are entitled to use anonymous sources and to not state the sources in order to protect them. However, the anonymous sources must be supported by a verifiable official source, which in this concrete case was impossible to get into touch with.

We asked the “Klix” portal’s editors whether they had contacted any other source in order to verify the published information, including the MEP Zovko.

“Klix” replied that the “news had been published a little bit before 23 o’clock” and “it was possible to contact Ms. Zovko at that point of time, but we had to release the news, considering the intensity of negotiations and because we found it was of general interest to inform the public about the potential candidates for that position.”

On the other hand, they did not reply why they failed to mention in the article that they had not contacted Željana Zovko.

MEP Zovko responded a day afterwards with the “Press Release on Announcement that MEP Zovko is taking over the position of the Rapporteur for BiH”, published on the website of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

Zovko says in the press release that it would be unusual for her to take over the duty of the EU Rapporteur for BiH, considering the fact she is a citizen of BiH.

It would be very unusual of me to take this duty as a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the unspoken rule, which is however strictly applied by the international institutions, a citizen of the respective country is not to be appointed to such a position. This is the rule I respect and whatever I have to say on the topic of Bosnia and Herzegovina has already been expressed through earlier Resolutions of the Parliament. When it comes to the most recent issues in BiH, I…

Zovko’s press release was published on the “Klix” portal on the same day in the article titled “Željana Zovko on the function of the Rapporteur for BiH and the division of the country in three parts”.

This article integrates parts of the first article published by “Klix” on the possibility that Zovko takes over the function of the Special Rapporteur for BiH.

Resolutions of the European Parliament recommend federalisation, to be built according to the European models, such as Belgian, Swiss or similar models, in which all communities have their rights and will protected.

If Messrs. Izetbegović, Komšić and Nikšić really want a civil society, built according to the American model – “one man = one vote”, they should come up with a solution for three civil units and they should prepare themselves for “redistricting” – the American way of securing, …

However, the article does not reflect Zovko’s response to the first “Klix” article and her official denial of their statements.

Considering the fact that the information that Željana Zovko “might be appointed the Special Rapporteur for BiH” was denied by Zovko herself, we find the “Klix” portal’s article to be a misinformation.

The subject article is also considered denied, as the official denial was published on the website of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.


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