11 MAR 2011
By Valentina Pop
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Parliament on Thursday (10 March) said the recent tweaks to the Hungarian media law do not go far enough and criticised the European Commission for not pressing for more changes, especially regarding the media council, whose members are appointed by the ruling party.
The call for further changes - tabled by the Socialist, Liberal, Green and leftist groups - was voted by 316 votes in favour and 264 against, with 33 abstentions.
MEPs say the modifications to the media law adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on Monday are a positive development, but they still fail to restore the independence of media governance and to stop state interference with freedom of expression.
"Over-regulation of media is counterproductive to the existence of an effective pluralism in the public sphere", MEPs said.
The EU legislature also criticised the commission for its "limited targeting of only three points" in discussions with Hungarian authorities and urged it to further investigate compliance with EU law.
"When the commission doesn't defend basic rights, we will take up the fight," Austrian Socialist MEP Hannes Swoboda said on behalf of his group.
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