Tuesday 25 January 2011

Hungarian EU Council presidency – a PR disaster

Between yesterday and today, even between editing two blog posts this morning, the Facebook group for free media in Hungary keeps growing. A few moments ago 75,578 persons had joined the group, which sets out its reasoned demands in a proclamation published in many European languages.

As a public relations exercise, the start of the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union could hardly have been more catastrophic, but what can a government expect if it attacks European values at home and tells us that it promotes them abroad?

Only rarely, outside the circle of Fidesz supporters and European People's Party (EPP) cronies, do we find defenders of the Hungarian media muzzle law such as Andrea Jamborova in her guest post on the Europolit blog.

More representative of euroblogs and European opinion is the article published yesterday on the Euros du Village, amazed at the muted response from the European Socialists. When Greenyourope compares prime minister Viktor Orban with Hugo Chavez, it is not a compliment. .

Leaving values, principles and politics aside, even on the more restricted grounds of compatibility with EU media law, the Commission has serious doubts about the legality of the Hungarian media act, as noted by Kosmopolito. The letter from the Commission has leaked to the press, so everyone can evaluate the detailed remarks regarding the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and certain treaty principles. .

Ralf Grahn

P.S. On A 12 Stelle, mainly in Italian but also in English, Paolo Maria Grossholz relays EU press releases of interest to businesses. A useful source of information.

P.S. 2: You can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter @RalfGrahn, in addition to my blogs: Grahnlaw (in English), Grahnblawg (in Swedish) and Eurooppaoikeus (in Finnish), as well as the trilingual Grahnlaw Suomi Finland.

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