24 april 2015

Kati Piri bij Media Conference in Budapest

Among EU member states, Hungary’s media system is the most vulnerable to the uncontrolled exercise of power by the state.

Hungarian government officials claim that they have accommodated the requirements of the European Union, as prescribed with a view to mend the faults of the Hungarian media law.  In the case of public service media, the final outcome is a propaganda machinery reminiscent of the old Communist times, whereas privately held media is under government economic and political pressure.

The Hungarian government played cat and mouse with the EU in an effort to circumvent EU regulations and to wear down EU institutions in the several year-long bargaining process.  The purpose of the current Orbán government is to solidify the antidemocratic (illiberal) state, drifting towards the policies of the extreme right, with the ultimate goal of retaining political power.

The Hungarian Association of Journalists (MÚOSZ) feels responsibility for the dire situation of public service media outlets and is committed to repeatedly blowing the whistle on the dependence and partisan supervision and direction of the Hungarian News Agency (MTI), the Hungarian Radio (MR) and the Hungarian Television (MTV), all funded from public sources.  Public service media in Hungary is owned to such an extent by the government that its reporting, news coverage and analyses do not provide accurate insight and knowledge into the actual condition of the society.  Public service media fails to provide accurate information also on the aspirations and efforts of the EU.

The Hungarian Association of Journalists is determined to carry on its conference series with a view to explore the situation and seeks cooperation with the European Union. The Association is committed to promoting return to the legal norms undertaken by Hungary upon the accession to the European Union and to identify and reduce the barriers.  A European approach is required for the process.

There are no free elections and accurate information provision without independent national public service media outlets.  It is the common and shared interest of Hungary and the EU to guarantee the conditions for free and fair elections.