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OSCE adamant in media law critique

Dunja Mijatovic, press freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) stood by her earlier criticism of Hungary’s new media law as she finds it goes against the country's OSCE commitments. Mijatovic addressed the issue in public after meeting with Zoltán Kovcs, Hungary's state secretary for government communications.

Mijatovic voiced concerns about provisions of the rules putting the government-delegates in the medic council in charge of ensuring reporting is “balanced” and respects “human dignity”, which could undermine media pluralism. Kovács then criticized the remarks saying they are inaccurate and inflammatory.

The regulations were also defended by Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics, the medic council itself as well as political research institute Századvég, which released a statement on the merits of the act.

In the meantime, the European Commission (EC) announced it will be sending a letter to the Hungarian government during the week asking for “clarification” on provisions of the law while once more elaborating on its concerns. EC head José Manuel Barroso told reporters that despite the fact that Hungary is the current president of the bloc, the country is entitled to the same fair and unbiased treatment as any other member state.

Barroso’s announcement comes a day after Neelie Kroes, the deputy president of the European Commission, said that an initial examination by the EU executive had found parts of the law to be “unsatisfactory”. (BBJ)