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The aim of unfounded accusations of political origin is to degrade Hungary and the EU Presidency

The aim of unfounded accusations of political origin is to degrade Hungary and the EU Presidency

2011. 01. 10.

The new centre-right Hungarian Fidesz-KDNP government inherited a situation from the previous Socialist cabinet, which was disastrous not only in economic terms, but in several other sectors including the field of media as well. Public media was characterised by the misuse of sources, corruption and total political and financial vulnerability. The media authority continuously proved powerless in dealing with hate speech, racism and actions against specific minority groups. It also failed to efficiently protect minors against contents endangering their healthy development. This was the heritage of the Socialist government, who failed to implement EU Directives on different fields of the media.

This was the situation which the new Hungarian Parliament had the responsibility to alter. Thus, it implemented the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AMSD) and, based on the best practises throughout the EU Member States, adopted a new Media Act. The new Act, in line with the European Directives, ensures the possibility of firm actions against hate speech, racist expressions against particular groups and the protection of the healthy development of minors and human dignity. The new Act protects the freedom and diversity of the press through a set of guarantees. In compliance with the above, the independent Hungarian courts have judicial review on the decisions of the financially and politically independent Media Council, whose members are independently elected by the Hungarian Parliament.

As the new legislation is based on the implementation of European Community law, the European Commission will analyse its progress. The Hungarian government will take the results into fully consideration and if necessary, will modify the Act accordingly. Hereby, we would like to recall that in the last two decades, Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union and the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) have proven their commitment to the protection of rights and freedoms.

We believe that the criticisms originating from this lack of information and political malice not only address the Hungarian EU Presidency but in reality, they cause most harm to the European Union, which is now facing the biggest challenge since its creation. Therefore, we call upon the socialist, liberal, green and communist groups in the European Parliament to cease the political scandalisation. At the same time, we would like to express our acknowledgements to all our fellow members in the EPP Group, especially to the German EPP Group Delegation and Mr Wilfred Martens, President of the European People's Party, who stood up against the double standard and expressed their solidarity to Hungary.

(Translation from the original Hungarian version.)