Archive item

Title: Open letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Other/original title:
Publisher: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
Files: letter_hungarian_ngos_media_ce[1].pdf
Abstract: In response to the announcement by Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland on 29 January of an agreement between the Council of Europe and the Hungarian government about amending Hungary's media regulations, five Hungarian NGOs sent this open letter to Jagland. According to the organisations, the agreement "can be considered only as the first step" in solving the problems regarding freedom of the media in Hungary. Recalling the recommendations made in a previous evaluation by Council of Europe experts about the appointment, role and independence of the Media Council and its chairperson, the organisations say that the current agreement doesn't "dispel any anxiety or concern" on these issues. Referencing the "politically homogeneous" media authority, its "impenetrable and opaque" tendering practices, and the lacking independence of public broadcasting, the organisations conclude that the agreement "concerns a limited area only of the structural problems of the media regulation"; the agreed changes "will not result in substantive changes, which can prevent immediately any further distortions in the public sphere"; and the agreement "is not in full accordance with the former recommendations of the Council of Europe". They ask the Council of Europe "to continue to evaluate the Hungarian media regulation on the basis of its own previous analysis" and "to check whether the Hungarian government amends the media laws in accordance with the agreement".
Publication/ adoption date: 2013-02-04
Language: English