Everything and everyone in Hungary depends on one party – Vera Jourová

October 04. 2023. – 02:29 PM



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Hungary must also prepare for introducing the EU legislation protecting media freedom, European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová stated in an interview with Politico.

On 3 October, the European Parliament adopted its position on an EU regulation aimed at safeguarding media freedom, bringing the proposal one step closer to becoming law. Fidesz opposed both the draft and the final resolution.

The European Parliament's resolution states that EU countries should protect the independence of the press from governmental, political, economic or private interference. The body also seeks to prevent external pressure on journalists, to make the ownership of media companies more transparent and to introduce a cap on publicly funded advertising to prevent the press becoming dependent on state advertising. A new independent body, the European Media Services Authority would also be set up. We wrote in more detail about the declaration in this article.

Vera Jourová told Politico: "The European Media Freedom Act will be an important warning signal for member states." Speaking about Hungary, Jourová said:

In Hungary, "everything and everyone depends on one party" and "there is no public media, only state media".

"The overall tendency in Hungary, which leads to the monopolization of information, is something we don't want to happen elsewhere," Jourová explained. “Over time, we might try to, step by step, dismantle such systems.”

Jourová said it was possible that if Hungary did not comply with the rules being drafted, it could face infringement proceedings, which may even lead to fines.

But Hungary may not be the only country in the Commission's crosshairs – France may also be targeted, as a journalist was recently detained there for reporting on leaked, compromising documents. "The case in France highlights the frail nature of the safeguarding of journalists". Jourová said the French government was one of those arguing that the strict media law "is destroying their wonderful system. "I have always found this very, very arrogant".

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