The Procedure For The Accreditation Of Journalists Representing Foreign Media

Link to law: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/VäM/reg/516102014001/consolide
Published: 2010-03-22

The Procedure for the Accreditation of Journalists Representing Foreign Media

Passed 13.11.2006 Annex 4
RTL 2006, 82, 1516
Entry into force 01.01.2007
Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

Passed
Published
Entry into force

08.03.2010
RTL 2010, 12, 232
22.03.2010

The Regulation shall be enforced on the basis of § 9 (12) of the Foreign Relations Act (RTI, 07.07.2006, 32, 248)

Chapter 1 ACCREDITATION 

§ 1.  General grounds for accreditation

(1) With the accreditation of a journalist representing foreign mass media (hereinafter "journalist") the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognises that the journalist meets the requirements validated in this Regulation.
(2) The accreditation is voluntary and may be applied for by every journalist.

§ 2.  Accreditation Committee

(1) For processing the accreditation applications of journalists and for carrying out the accreditation process the Minister of Foreign Affairs shall by decree establish an Accreditation Committee (hereinafter Committee). The following officials of the Public Diplomacy Department (hereinafter PDD) shall according to their official capacity belong to the Committee:
1) Director of Press Centre
2) Director of Media Division
3) Press Centre official responsible for accreditation.
(2) The Committee shall have the right to invite experts to its activities.
(3) The deputy of an official on the Committee shall also replace the official within the Committee.
(4) The Committee shall be summoned and its work shall be led by the Director of the Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

§ 3.  Documents to be submitted for accreditation

(1) A journalist shall submit to the Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the following documents:
1) application signed by the editor-in-chief of the mass media for the accreditation of the journalist. In the application the principal co-operation criteria of the journalist with the mass media shall be indicated;
2) a copy of the certificate of professional journalism or in case the journalist comes from a country where no such certificates are issued, a document certifying his/her working experience of at least two years as a journalist;
3) requested accreditation form (Annex 1 or Annex 2 ) filled in by the journalist. The appropriate forms as well as instructions for filling the forms in are available at the home page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in Estonian foreign missions;
4) three photos (40 mm x 50 mm).
[RTI 2010, 12, 232 – entered into force 22 March 2010]
(2) The Committee in addition to documents listed in paragraph 1 has the right to request:
1) copies of the publication applying for the accreditation of the journalist;
2) earlier published articles by the journalist;
3) [Invalid – RTI 2010, 12, 232 – entered into force 22 March 2010]
4) other relevant certificates or data of substantial importance.
(3) The Commission in case of need may invite a journalist to an interview.
(4) In case a journalist has failed to present any documents or has presented insufficient data, the Director of the Press Centre shall on the first opportunity before convening the Committee fix a term for the journalist for the removal of shortcomings, which may not be less than seven calendar days. Upon failing to remove the shortcomings the Committee shall have the right not to process the application.

§ 4.  Due date of accreditation process

(1) The due date of the accreditation process is up to 30 calendar days.
(2) If additional information is needed the Committee may extend the processing period of the accreditation application. In such a case the Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall without delay notify the journalist and inform about the probable time extension for the process, indicating the reason for non-abidance by the due date.

§ 5.  Accreditation process and accreditation decision

(1) The Committee shall evaluate documents presented by the journalist and on that basis as well as on the basis of other relevant circumstances the Committee shall make to the Director General of the PDD one of the following recommendations:
1) to accredit the journalist;
2) to refuse accreditation;
3) to invalidate an accreditation decision;
4) to terminate an accreditation prematurely and to declare a press card null and void.
(2) The PDD Director General, on the basis of the recommendation mentioned in paragraph 1, shall make a decision in the name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the right of discretion or return the Committee’s recommendation to the Committee for review.
(3) A journalist shall be accredited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs generally for two years, upon repeated accreditation for up to three years. The validity period of an accreditation shall expire on the due date, when accreditation decision is invalidated or with the decision on the premature termination of an accreditation and declaring a press card null and void.

§ 6.  Notifying of an accreditation decision

The Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall notify the journalist of the decision made in the course of the accreditation process within 5 working days as of the making of the decision, using contact data submitted in the accreditation form.

§ 7.  The grounds for refusal of accreditation, invalidation of an accreditation decision or for premature termination of an accreditation and declaring a press card null and void

(1) The PDD Director General may refuse accreditation, invalidate an accreditation decision or terminate prematurely an accreditation, if:
1) in the application of accreditation false data have been submitted or falsified documents have been used;
2) the purpose of the journalist’s submitted application of accreditation does not match the true purpose for entering Estonia;
3) the journalist does not comply with or has not complied with the constitutional order of the Republic of Estonia or does not comply with Estonian laws;
4) the journalist has a sentence for a wilfully committed crime in Estonia;
5) the journalist has ceased contributing to the mass media which applied for accreditation;
6) the mass medium which applied for accreditation has suspended or ended its activities;
7) the press card has been used inappropriately;
8) other factual circumstances excluding an accreditation appear.
(2) If the accreditation decision has been invalidated, the accreditation of the journalist may hereinafter be refused.

Chapter 2 PRESS CARD 

§ 8.  Press card

(1) The Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall to the accredited journalist issue a standard press card (Annex 3), which is the journalist’s document certifying his/her accreditation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(2) The press card shall be issued to the journalist for personal use and it is prohibited to lend it to another person.
(3) The holder of the press card shall be entered into the list of persons receiving information material from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(4) [Invalid – RTI 2010, 12, 232 – entered into force 22 March 2010]
(5) The press card may serve as one of the basic documents for applying for legal residence in the Republic of Estonia.
(6) In case the press card has been lent for use to another person, it may be confiscated from its user. The confiscated press card shall be handed over to the PDD.

§ 9.  Form and technical description of the press card

(1) The press card is a double-sided plastic card with rounded edges, the measurements of which are 54 mm x 85 mm. The press card is pale blue and white with a thread motif and black print.
(2) The form of the press card has been established in Annex 3 of this Regulation.
(3) Centered at the top of the front of the press card is an image of the logo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(4) On the front of the press card is a black-and-white or colour photo with measurements 40 x 50 mm, in which the person is facing the camera and without headwear. The photo must adhere to the requirements set forth by legal regulations.
(5) On the front of the press card there are data fields with the text:
1) VÄLISMINISTEERIUM / ESTONIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS;
2) PRESSIKAART / PRESS CARD;
3) Number;
4) Name;
5) Media;
6) Valid until.
(6) On the rear of the press card there are data fields with the text:
1) VÄLISMINISTEERIUM / ESTONIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS;
2) Islandi väljak 1
Tallinn 15049, Estonia
Tel + 372 6317 630
Fax + 372 6317 099
3) centre@mfa.ee
4) www.mfa.ee
5) Kaart on välisministeeriumi omand, leidmisel palume see tagastada ülalnimetatud aadressil. Kaardi ebaseaduslik kasutamine on süütegu / This card remains the property of the MFA and if found, please return it to the address shown above. Misuse is a criminal offence.
[RTI 2010, 12, 232 – entered into force 22 March 2010]

§ 10.  Data to be entered in the press card

(1) In addition to the standard text printed in front of the press card, the following data shall be entered:
1) press card number;
2) journalist’s first name(s) and family name(s);
3) name of mass media represented by the journalist;
4) expiration date of press card.
[RTI 2010, 12, 232 – entered into force 22 March 2010]

§ 11.  Validity of the press card

(1) The press card shall be issued for the term of the accreditation decision.
(2) The press card shall become invalid upon the expiration of the validity term indicated on it or in the case of the decision on the premature termination of an accreditation and declaring the press card null and void or in the case of an invalidation decision of an accreditation decision on the day of the enforcement of the decision.
(3) After the expiration of validity of the press card, its use is prohibited and upon the invalidation of an accreditation decision the press card shall be returned to the PDD.
[RTI 2010, 12, 232 – entered into force 22 March 2010]
(4) The journalist may at the expiration of the accreditation term apply anew for accreditation, upon which a new press card is issued.

Chapter 3 IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS 

§ 12.  Registration and validity of issued press cards

(1) For the decisions made in the accreditation process and for the booking and for the respective accounting on press cards issued, the Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be responsible.
(2) Press cards issued before 1 January 2007 shall be valid until the expiration of the period of validity indicated thereon.

§ 13.  Enforcement of the Regulation

The regulation shall enter into force on 1 January 2007.
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