An end to the dispute over Hungary’s controversial new media law may soon be sight.
EU Business reports that the Hungarian government has agreed to prepare a first draft of possible amendments to the legislation for the European Commission (EC) by this coming Thursday (February 10).
According to Jonathan Todd, the spokesman for commissioner Neelie Kroes, the EC hopes amendments to ensure full compliance with EU law “can be completed within weeks rather than months”.
The EC has identified several areas in the law that it regards as problematic. Firstly, it believes the new law’s rules on balanced information are in breach of EU regulations. Secondly, it is applicable to foreign media and thirdly the requirements for media registration seemed excessive.
The EC has also been critical of the powers granted to the new regulatory authority (NMHH) in Hungary.
The controversy over the new media law has threatened to overshadow Hungary’s presidency of the EU, which it assumed for six months at the start of this year.
However, talks between the EC and Hungarian government yesterday (February 7) have been described as very constructive and a resolution to the dispute now looks increasingly likely.