Budapest, October 10 (MTI) – Commenting on a call by an OSCE media advocate to monitor press freedom more closely in Hungary in wake of the suspension of the daily Népszabadság over the weekend, the European Commission’s spokesperson said the body was “aware of and concerned about” the suspension.
Margaritis Schinas told a press briefing on Monday that the commission stood for the values of press freedom and pluralism as the basic values of a free and democratic society.
“Questions have been raised on the suspension and we are, of course, following the situation closely,” he said.
Spokesperson Nathalie Vandystadt added that the commission’s scope was limited in this area but the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom in Florence was reporting regularly to the commission on the situation of press freedom in every member state, including Hungary.
Dunja Mijatovic, media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said on Sunday that “the closure of Hungary’s main opposition newspaper is a huge blow to the country’s media diversity and press freedoms.”
“The European Commission should pay greater attention to the issues related to press freedom in Hungary,” Mijatovic said, adding that the government’s media policies in Hungary set “a bad example for EU candidate countries and those striving for democracy.”