Isn’t Hungary bound to comply with EU media standards?
The European Commission can examine whether the law is in line with the EU’s Audiovisial Media Services Directive, which regulates television and on-demand services, and the Electronic Commerce Directive, which regulates ISPs and liability issues, and some competition directives. If the law clashes with an EU directive, they can examine and oblige the member state to modify the law. Basic rights are also protected by Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression and the press.

The government plans to submit a new constitution, which many worry could further weaken the Constitutional Court and Hungary’s balance-of-powers system. What will happen then?
We have no idea. We have been criticizing the constitution re-writing process, as we believe the current constitution ensures the proper functioning democratic system based on respect for human rights and the rule of law for the first time in Hungary’s modern history. My hope is that the court would consider the petition before the new constitution is passed and that it would rule, as it historically has, for freedom of expression.


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Amy Brouillette is a Budapest-based journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, and a number of other publications. She is holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently a research fellow at the Center for Media and Communication Studies at Central European University in Budapest.