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Media law in Hungary: current changes are not enough.
Strasbourg, March 10, 2011 (ALDE Press Release) - Today the EP adopted a resolution on the controversial Media law in Hungary, which calls upon the Fidez government - that last Monday passed already some amendments in line with an agreement with the European Commission - to further review the media laws on the basis of the remarks and proposals made by the European Parliament, OSCE and the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights.
"The changes introduced by the Hungarian government are simply not enough" says ALDE coordinator in the Civil Liberties committee Renate Weber (PNL, Romania). "We cannot disregard the worrying opinions given by expert bodies in the field of media freedom, such as the OSCE representative for media freedom and the Council of the Europe Commissioner on Human Rights, that highlight the non-conformity of the Hungarian legislation with European values and standards on media freedom, pluralism and independent media governance. Democracy is based on the right of citizens to know and we should not tolerate limitations and manipulations of this right by those in government. Exactly In the same way the EU calls third countries to ensure media freedom, we have to make sure we do the same at home: this is why the resolution approved today is important".
The ALDE group was the first to take the lead in expressing doubts over the Hungarian media law, echoed by the majority of the Parliament, apart of course from the group where Fidez seats.
"This is not a question about Hungary, but of the freedom of the press. The Hungarian media law limits the freedom of speech, something we can't live with in the EU. We therefore have to keep up the pressure, to change the law. If this doesn't happen, we must take it to the European Court of Justice. We can't risk that the Hungarian media law set up a precedent in the EU." said Morten Løkkegaard (Venstre, Danemark), ALDE vice-President of the Culture committee.

For further information
Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84
Federica Terzi: +33-3-88 17 35 53 or +32-494 18 88 31
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From: 2011-03-10