Geneva, 14 January 2011- The EBU appealed today to the Hungarian Prime Minister (see attached letter, available in English only) to act to ensure that media reform in Hungary upholds the principle of media plurality enshrined in the EU Amsterdam Treaty Protocol on public broadcasting*.
The EBU’s letter asked the Prime Minister, “to be responsive to its concerns about the threats to freedom, independence and pluralism of the media in Hungary posed by the new law and to pay particular attention to the reform of public service media so as to ensure full respect of public service values, in particular editorial independence and pluralistic governance.”
The EBU strongly supports the establishment of a modern, competitive, well-funded, independent and pluralistic public service media system in Hungary and has been closely following developments in Hungary over the past year, participating in high-level meetings with politicians on the subject. However, the letter notes that the EBU is now anxious about the future independence of public media and its capacity to represent the plurality of views within Hungary in the future.
The EBU expressed concern at the scope and content of the new media law and said, “It would be a paradox if Hungary, whose reputation as a country has been one that strives for freedom, should set an unfortunate precedent in terms of the governance and supervision and control of the media, and restriction of pluralism.”
Note to Editors
* The Amsterdam Treaty Protocol on Public Broadcasting annexed to the EU Treaty states “that the system of public broadcasting in the Member States is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to preserve media pluralism. It is therefore incumbent on all Member States to respect this principle.”
Avril Mahon Roberts
Head of Communications
Tel. +41 22 717 2214