Archive item

Title: A criticism of the Hungarian Act on Media Services and Mass Media, Effective January 1st, 2011
Other/original title:
Publisher: Eötvös Károly Institute
Files: A criticism of the Hungarian Act on Media Services and Mass Media.pdf
Abstract: This paper presents the criticism of the newly adopted Media Act by László Majtényi, chairman of the Eötvös Károly Institute, former president of the then-media regulatory authority ORTT and former data protection ombudsman. He prepared this paper for the European Parliament's Open Hearing on freedom of the press in Hungary of 11 January 2011. "The media regulation and scheme of supervision instated by [the 'Media Act'] and its ancillary legislation" argues Majtényi, "are in conflict with the core values of the European Union". He lists and elaborates on his four most important objections: "the way in which the Media Act was adopted, which runs against the grain of both domestic rules and European values of proper legislative process, aggravated by the complete lack of social debate"; "the undemocratic nature of the architecture of supervision as enacted"; "the Media Act’s transgression of generally accepted liberal and democratic principles by extending the government’s powers of oversight to the printed press and the new media"; and "the unprecedented scope of powers conferred, the nebulous definition of the legal grounds for imposing sanctions, and the threat of arbitrary application". In conclusion, Majtényi observes that "the sponsors of the Media Act have sought to defend [it] by arguing that each of its constituent elements can be located in the media regulations of one or another European country," but argues that even if this were true, "lining up the worst provisions of each European law side by side would yield a result sorely out of tune with our shared European norms and values."
Publication/ adoption date: 2011-01-11
Language: English
Rights: Eötvös Károly Institute; shared under the institute's conditions: "Felhasználási feltételek: Az Eötvös Károly Intézet oldalán közzétett anyagai, írásai a forrás megjelölésével szabadon idézhetők és átvehetők. Amennyiben használja anyagainkat, örömmel vesszük, ha tájékoztat erről bennünket az címen."