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Hungary agrees to amend media law

The Commission received the government's amendments which addressed four areas of the law concerning the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and Charter of Fundamental Rights - within Article 11 on freedom of expression.

These specific areas are:

1.      The disproportionate application of rules regarding balanced information
2.      The application of fines to broadcasters legally established and authorized in other EU countries
3.      Rules on registration and authorization of media service providers
4.      Rules against offending individuals, minorities or majorities

Government officials decided that on-demand media services would not be obliged to follow the requirements, as the European Commission found this to be disproportionate. The government will not fine broadcasters in other EU states for infringing on the Hungarian media law's regulations concerning the provocation of hatred. The government decided to allow on-demand audiovisual services from Hungary and other EU states to operate without prior authorization. Lastly, officials made amendments to limit the ban on instances of hatred and/or discrimination. Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes stated that she was "very pleased" Hungarian officials had agreed to make the changes outlined in her letter sent to the government in late January. Legislation from the Fidesz government affecting media laws and regulations were first discussed during the middle of last year, however the government has been highly criticized ever since enacting the law on January 1. The first public demonstration protesting the law was held outside the parliament building in Budapest on January 14, at which thousands attended. euractiv.com

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11

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