Saturday, 8 January 2011

Hungarian media law and EU Council presidency: Evolving European opinion

A measure of European public opinion is already reflected on multilingual Bloggingportal.eu, which aggregates 732 Euroblogs. The Hungarian media law is one of the recurring themes on the front page.

Naturally, there is an impact from the fact that the Bloggingportal.eu blog called for action against censorship in Hungary (21 December 2010), but all journalists, newspapers and bloggers follow their own conscience and express their own views. There is a link to OSCE's legal analysis, and sixty comments present some of the reactions to the call.


Hungary topics page

Let us turn to the topics page on Hungary to see the impression the Fidesz (member of the European People's Party, EPP) government of Viktor Orban has made among European journalists and bloggers.You can see the Hungary topics page for yourself (and return for possible updates), but I will refer to and comment on a few blog posts at a time.


Netzpolitik

Netzpolitik.org was one of the first European blogs outside Hungary to react to the media law (in German): Hintergr√ľnde zum ungarischen Mediengesetz (21 December 2010). The informative blog post is followed by 47 comments with complementing views and links.


Metronaut

China is great in many ways. However, when we speak about freedom of opinion, the parallel with China is hardly flattering for an EU member state, but this is how Metronaut referred to the Hungarian media law due to its authoritarian character (in German): Zensur in Ungarn: China mitten in Europa (22 December 2010).

Metronaut wondered at the silence from European governments (with the exception of Luxembourg).


EESC

Vice-president Anna Maria Darmanin, responsible for communication at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), wrote on her blog at the EESC website that the media law casts a black cloud over the commencement of the Hungarian Presidency, and that she believed that any attempt to reduce the freedom expression is a direct attack on democracy and in the longer term a disservice to the whole country and its citizens. Darmanin joined the Bloggingportal.eu action against censorship: Hungary's media law raises eyebrows and concerns (22 December 2010).

***

When I reread these blog posts, I find them serious and reasoned, hardly evil spirited, party political or emotional outbursts of the kind Hungarian government representatives have depicted. But, dear readers, that is for you to judge.



Ralf Grahn

P.S. I want you, my readers and friends, to follow blogs on European issues and – why not – start blogging yourselves. Today I want to highlight the blog of Irish Eroblogger Stephen Spillane, who deals with current issues in Europe and Ireland.