Archive item

Title: Debate of Wednesday, 16 February 2011, on media law in Hungary (transcript)
Other/original title:
Publisher: European Parliament
Files: Debates - Wednesday, 16 February 2011 - Media law in Hungary.pdf
Abstract: Transcript of the debate that took place in the European Parliament on 16 February 2011 about the new media legislation passed in Hungary in late 2010 and the response to this legislation by the European Commission. The debate was to be followed by a vote on a resolution by the liberal, socialist, green and left-socialist groups. However, this vote was delayed after European Commissioner Neelie Kroes made statements at the debate in which she informs Parliament that "the Hungarian Prime Minister has agreed to amend the media law so that it complies with all aspects of EU law that we, the European Commission have raised". Kroes describes how the amendments will revise the application of balanced reporting requirements; the application of sanctions on foreign broadcasters; the media registration requirements; and the definition of prohibited offensive content. Members of European Parliament such as Claude Moraes, speaking on behalf of the S&D Group, however decry the "crucial issues" which remain unanswered, including "the composition and time frame" of the new media authorities, "which are politically homogenous and still exert pervasive and centralised governmental, judicial and political control on all media", as well as "the violation of the principle of confidentiality of journalistic sources, extremely disproportionate sanctions," and the abolition of "the political and financial independence of public service broadcast media". In her closing statement, Kroes rebuffs such criticisms. The procedures for nominating and electing the president and members of the new media council, she argues, "are no different from those that are commonly accepted in Europe". In addition, she points out that the European Commission lacks the authority to oblige EU member states to guarantee the independence of national regulatory authorities, since a proposal to include such an authority in the AVMS Directive had been removed by the EU member states.
Publication/ adoption date: 2011-02-16
Language: English
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