Cabinet does not support Fidesz MP proposal that reverses CoE recommendations

The Government says it does not support a proposal submitted by a Fidesz MP last week that would reverse the agreement between Hungarian officials and Council of Europe to limit the mandate of the Media Authority President to a single nine-year term. In January, Hungarian authorities and the Council of Europe negotiated several amendments to the Hungarian media laws, which included changing both the appointment system and term length of the president of the Media Authority. 

On February 15, Administration and Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics submitted an amendment that would limit the Media Authority president’s tenure to a single nine-year term, in keeping with the Council of Europe’s recommendations. Last week, Fidesz MP András Cser-Palkovics submitted a new proposal that would exempt the Media Authority President from the proposed amendments on grounds that the Council of Europe’s recommendations only “can only be construed in relation with the Chairperson of the Media Council, and not with the President of NMHH.” This amendment contradicts the previous agreement between the CoE and the Hungarian Government, as specified in a letter sent by Minister Navracsics to Secretary Jagland on 19 December 2012.

According to Népszabadság, Navracsics discussed the matter with the Council’s General Secretary Thorbjorn Jagland in Brussels on Monday, and said the Government does not support the amendment motion submitted by Cser-Palkovics.