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Hungary media law

EU Commission and Council must take action against Hungary over draconian media law


The Hungarian parliament passed a controversial media law yesterday that will expand the state’s power to monitor and penalise private media and journalists if coverage is deemed unbalanced. The Greens, who have previously expressed concern about the draft law, have called on the EU Commission and Council to take action against Hungary to ensure the law is withdrawn. Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:

"This draconian media law is an echo of Europe's undemocratic past and it is scandalous that the EU Council and Commission have allowed the situation to go so far. The EU has sat on its hands in spite of serious concerns being raised about the draft law, which is in conflict with the fundamental democratic principle of media freedom, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and, as such, the EU treaty.”

Greens/EFA co-president Dany Cohn-Bendit added:

“The Greens call on Commission president Barroso not to waste any more time and to launch an infringement procedure against Hungary under Article 7 of the EU treaty. It is unthinkable that the incoming EU presidency Hungary should be allowed to maintain this odious law, which is at total odds with a core EU principle. The Greens will insist that the situation in Hungary is discussed at the plenary session of the European Parliament in January 2011 but strongly hope the Commission will not wait that long to launch action.”