Archive item

Title: Letter from Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, to Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, of 17 January 2012
Other/original title:
Files: Letter from Kroes to Navracsics 17 January 2012.pdf
Abstract: On the same day that the European Commission announced the launch of infringement procedures against Hungary concerning the country's judiciary, central bank, and data protection authorities, Neelie Kroes wrote this letter to Tibor Navracsics about the Hungarian media laws. Respecting media freedom "is not only about the technically correct application of EU and national law," she writes him. Invoking criticisms by the OSCE, the Council of Europe and press freedom groups, she writes that even if they relate to aspects not covered by EU law, "they should be adequately addressed, in order to dispel doubts about Hungary's full adherence to European values." Referencing the claim Navracsics had made in his first letter to Kroes, in December 2010, that no part of the Hungarian media laws contains provisions not also found in the legislation of other EU Member States, she writes that a new study, 'Hungarian Media Laws in Europe', suggests this is not true. Specifically, she highlights the provisions "regarding the Media Authority's independence and centralised structure, its cumulative powers including in particular its sanctioning powers, and the wide scope of application of the media laws (regulating the print and online press in a manner broadly equivalent to [..] broadcasting media)." Kroes also raises concern about the obstacles which the Klubrádió station has faced in renewing its frequencies and their effect on the "objective of a free and pluralist media landscape". Finally, Kroes informs Navracsics that the newly established High-Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism will discuss Hungary in its next meeting, and attaches the group's terms of reference.
Publication/ adoption date: 2012-01-17
Language: English