The decision of the Constitutional Court of 19 December 2011 has finally brought freedom of the print media in Hungary back but the court has done only half of the job as it failed to examine the anti-democratic legal provisions that affect the electronic media. It did so despite the fact that a radical transformation of the public media has for more than a year taken place. Media trade organisations are helpless in the face of political cleansing carried out under the cover of group layoffs, too.
The Hungarian Europe Society expresses solidarity with those who are continuing a hunger strike in support of the basic conditions of fair public media. The HES declares that without the initiative of Balázs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szávuly the investigation of „professional errors” in the edition of evening news on 3 December and partial punishment of those responsible would not have taken place. The management of the public media, however, is still hiding the full truth from the public. Moreover, the punishment remains so far inconsistent and protections against editorial censorship are still missing despite the fact that the Hungarian media law, that shocked the whole Europe, has been fully discredited by now.
As in its previous statements, the HES considers media freedom and governmental guarantees of the independence of the public media to be one of Europe’s most important achievements. The HES finds it hard to comprehend and accept that in a member state of the European Union one has to resort to the extreme instrument of a hunger strike to fight for these values.
Budapest, 21 December 2011
38 members voted in favour of the declaration, 2 persons abstained from voting and 1 member voted against it.