EU Commissioner Deems Hungarian Media Law 'Unsatisfactory'

World | January 18, 2011, Tuesday // 10:46
Bulgaria: EU Commissioner  Deems Hungarian Media Law 'Unsatisfactory' EU Digital Affairs Commissioner Neelie Kroes. File photo

Hungary's controversial new media law might not meet the EU standards, according to an initial assessment.

"There are specific points on which the media law does not appear at first sight to be satisfactory," EU Digital Affairs Commissioner Neelie Kroes stated before MEPs late Monday.

Since the assessment was initial, she did not go into further details.

Hungary's the new media law, which came into force at the beginning of 2011, would allow radio and television stations to be fined up to EUR 730 000 (USD 975 000) for going against "public interest, public morals and order", or for broadcasting "partial information", with insufficient clarification on what constitutes an infringement of the law, according to local media sources.

There are concerns it will be used against media critical of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's centre-right government, and the law has come under international criticism.

Hungary has been up for a tough start of its EU Presidency, as it was was pressured by members of the European Peoples' Party last Thursday to abolish its new citizenship law which increases the rights of the Hungarian minorities abroad. According to this law, citizens of bordering nations can apply for and receive a Hungarian passport, if they can prove they are Hungarian descendants.

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Tags: EU Digital Affairs Commissioner Neelie Kroes, Hungarian, media, Law, Viktor Orban
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