Fidesz MEPs Dissent as European Parliament Passed New Law on Media Freedom

  • 16 Mar 2024 5:54 AM
  • Hungary Around the Clock
Fidesz MEPs Dissent as European Parliament Passed New Law on Media Freedom
Fidesz MEPs dissented yesterday as the European Parliament passed a law on media freedom, designed to impede authorities from exerting pressure on journalists and editors.

The new regulation was introduced by the European Commission in 2022 in response to creeping state control over media organisations and attacks on press freedom, Politico reports.

Under the new law, passed with a large majority of 464 in favour, 92 against and 65 abstentions, media outlets will have to transparently disclose information about ownership, funding and state advertising.

The new law bans governments from deploying spyware on journalists’ phones, with some exceptions.

Journalists may not be forced to reveal their sources by detention, sanctions, house searches, deployment of surveillance software and other methods.

Leaders of public service media and members of the leading bodies must be appointed via a transparent procedure free from discrimination on an appropriately long-term basis. They can only be dismissed before the expiry of their contracts for professional reasons.

In Tuesday’s debate on the motion, Fidesz MEP Andrea Bocskor called the law another attempt at interfering in the sovereignty of member states.

European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova, who submitted the proposal, said the law sends a clear message to those who want to weaken democracy that they will not be allowed to do so.

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