Archive item

Title: Letter from Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, to Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, of 29 December 2010
Other/original title:
Publisher: European Parliament
Files: Letter from Navracsics to Kroes 291210.pdf
Abstract: In this letter of 29 December 2010, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary Tibor Navracsics responds to concerns expressed by Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes in a letter the week before about the newly adopted Hungarian media legislation. In his response, Navracsics writes that "there is no political force in Hungary today which is more committed" to freedom of speech and political freedom "than the current government." He expresses confidence that the new legislation "is compatible in every way with EU guidelines" and that "no part of it contains provisions which are not found in the legislation of one or more [other] EU Member States." The Media Act, Navracsics argues, replaces an "outdated and contradictory collection of media regulations". In response to Kroes's reminder that "freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of our democratic societies," and her observation that "numerous commentators" had expressed concerns about the new law jeopardising press freedom by giving broad competences to a new, insufficiently independent Media Authority, Navracsics writes that the "statements and opinions which have appeared in the press have been written without knowledge of the legislation's exact wording, and I do not wish to respond to these here." He also warns that any approach that would "question the Hungarian government's commitment to democracy .. without reference to the specific wording of the legislation .. must have underlying political motives". Awaiting the official translation of the law, Navracsics concludes, the government welcomes any specific questions. The letter does not address Kroes's concern that some provisions in the law "apparently are applicable to broadcasters established in other Member States," which would raise questions about their compatibility with the AVMS Directive.
Publication/ adoption date: 2010-12-29
Language: English
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