Abstract

This study addresses a key international policy debate regarding the conformity of Hungary’s new media legislation to European media-regulation practices and standards. It presents expert analyses of the 56 media regulations from 20 European and EU-member states that were cited by the Hungarian government as precedents for its new media laws. The study finds that Hungary’s media laws are largely inconsistent with the cited European practices and norms. In a majority of examples, experts report that the Hungarian Government’s references omit or inaccurately characterise relevant factors of the other countries’ regulatory systems, and as a result, the examples do not provide sufficient and/or equivalent comparisons to Hungary’s media regulation system. The study also reveals a wide disparity in media-regulation policies among European and EU-member states and highlights some key deficiencies in a number of other European systems that may inhibit press freedom.