Government attempts to silence free media in Poland, Hungary & Slovenia
Quote from Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP
Today, the European Parliament will debate Government attempts to silence free media in Poland, Hungary and Slovenia, at 15:00. In Hungary, almost all press outlets are controlled by groups or individuals close to the ruling Fidesz party; in Poland, the government has replaced key figures in the public broadcaster and is making it harder for independent outlets to earn advertising revenue; and in Slovenia, the Prime Minister has launched vitriolic attacks against journalists, while Hungarian government-linked companies are buying up news outlets.
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Greens/EFA MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur for the situation in Hungary, comments:
"The ability for a free and independent press to scrutinise, analyse and criticise governments and their policies is what separates democracy from dictatorship. The free press is under serious attack inside the EU today, especially in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. We cannot sit by and watch as this pillar of European democracy is demolished before our eyes. The Commission and Council must act before we see an end to a free press in several European countries.
"Unfortunately, the Commission has yet to take any serious action on the declining situation facing media freedom. The Commission continues to take no action on long-standing complaints about state aid distorting the media landscape in Hungary. The Council refuses to seriously discuss the ongoing Article 7 procedures for both Poland and Hungary. So long as the Commission and Council fail to act on media freedom, it will show that that the media can be successfully attacked by oligarchs and autocrats."
The debate can be followed live from 15.00 here.
Three years ago, the European Parliament called on the Commission to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape in the EU.