Archive item

Title: Letter from Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, to Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, of 21 January 2011
Other/original title:
Files: Letter from Kroes to Navracsics 21 January 2011.pdf
Abstract: In this letter of 21 January 2011, Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes raises the issue of the newly adopted Hungarian media legislation with Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics. She expresses "serious doubts" as to the compatibility of the legislation with European Union law. She outlines three specific concerns about the Hungarian media laws: first, the legislation's obligation on the media, including audiovisual blogs, to provide "balanced" coverage; second, its requirement of all media outlets, including the press and online media, to register with the state; and third, its provisions that seem to extend the state's authority to impose restrictions and fines to media from other countries that can be received in Hungary. In her letter, however, Kroes does not raise the issue of the new media authority's independence, which she had still mentioned as a cause for concern in a presentation to a European Parliament meeting four days previously. The letter concludes that the law's scope "would create an unjustified restriction of the [..] fundamental right of freedom of expression and information," and Kroes gives Hungary two weeks to reply, adding that if the answer is unsatisfactory, the Commission may take legal action.
Publication/ adoption date: 2011-01-21
Language: English