US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has serious concerns when it comes to the current situation of the Hungarian media.
American Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated in a closed, online conference on Wednesday to discuss issues raised by representatives of 8 media outlets from their respective countries. Apart from Hungary, journalists from 7 countries were invited who work either in a country or in a region where the freedom of the press is under attack in any way. It was the first time that Blinken gave an interview to a Hungarian news agency since his inauguration in February.
Ever since he took office,
he has raised his voice on more than one occasion to express his concerns regarding diverse issues in Hungary.
For instance, he criticised the Hungarian government and
This time, answering questions posed by Hungarian media outlet Telex, Blinken said that he and his office had serious worries when it came to the “decline of media pluralism” in Hungary. He added that spokespersons of media freedom on an international level but even many Hungarian people share his views. “Diversity of independent voices and diversity of independent opinions; that is the fabric of democracy”, he said.
He and his office urge the Hungarian government to promote an open media environment.
Then, he went on to talk about Europe as an important centre of geopolitical competition, mentioning Russia and China as huge forces working against integration by undermining the democratic and sovereign will of several Central and Southern European countries.
As the Secretary of State said, both
the USA and the EU believe that trying to cement democratic norms, the rule of law, and cooperation based on common values will serve their best interests.
Freedom of the press and freedom of expression need to be included in this process to be successful.
He talked about the “irony” of how Hungary was held back and restrained for many decades in its ability to express itself, resulting from Soviet domination. The fact that the country managed to emerge from this oppression but now has growing concerns about press pluralism goes against the will of Hungarians.
After the harsh criticism, he made sure to express that the
USA and the Biden-Harris administration are committed to strengthening the ties with their NATO ally
and will do so by supporting democratic institutions, the rule of law, and human rights as their core principles.
Moreover, the same day, Magyar Hang wrote that the American Embassy answering their questions stated the concerns of the United States regarding the new Fudan University that is set to build a campus in Budapest.
The Embassy writes that Beijing has been proved to use its institutions of higher education to gain harmful influence and to oppress intellectual freedom.
Antony Blinken, since occupying his office, has talked to half of the world either through a call or in person. Based on publicly attainable data, a bilateral conversation with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó has not happened yet. The only time they met each other was at a
Here, you can listen to the complete answer of Antony Blinken to the questions asked by Telex.