ADVERTISEMENT

OSCE: Donʼt change FOI law without consultation

Analysis

The recently proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act of Hungary raise concerns about access to public information, and the issue should be discussed with all stakeholders before adoption, Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media said today.

“I call on the Parliament not to adopt the proposed amendments and to launch a public discussion with all stakeholders to ensure that the changes will support, and not limit, access to public information,” said Mijatović (pictured).

Hungary’s Ministry of Justice on June 26 proposed draft amendments in a fast-track procedure, and they are ready to be voted on in Parliament.

Mijatović, who is the top official in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in charge of monitoring and advocating for free speech, said that access to information is fundamental in providing transparency and accountability in public affairs.

“The media performs a key role as the public watchdog,” Mijatović said. “Restricting this role by limiting freedom of information could stifle public debates and weaken journalism and media freedom in Hungary.”

The Hungarian government first amended the FOIA on April 30, 2013, when a special sitting of the Hungarian Parliament adopted an amendment limiting the scope of Hungary’s Freedom of Information Act, Transparency International said earlier. At the time, Transparency International complained that the amendment was passed in an extraordinary manner within less than 48 hours.

The current amendment is also set for rapid passage, but Mijatović urged Parliament to take more time to solicit broad stakeholder comment on the law.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kopint-Tárki raises 2021 GDP forecast to 6.8% Analysis

Kopint-Tárki raises 2021 GDP forecast to 6.8%

Parliament approves amendment to Competition Act Parliament

Parliament approves amendment to Competition Act

New CEO announced at Codic Hungary Appointments

New CEO announced at Codic Hungary

Budapest bike-sharing scheme boasts record ridership City

Budapest bike-sharing scheme boasts record ridership

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.