The must-have newsletter about Hungary

Related Articles



The delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) called for continued dialogue with Hungary “for better mutual understanding and to strengthen European values”, at a press conference held at the end of a three-day visit to Hungary. Sabine Verheyen, an MEP sitting in the European People’s Party (EPP), said they had held “fruitful, constructive, sometimes controversial” discussions. They will assess the experiences in Brussels and will draft a report in an attempt to “consider the complex situation and to avoid jumping to conclusions”, Verheyen said. She said the committee objected to the “division of Hungarian media into pro-government and opposition outlets”. Media should be politically and financially independent to be able to function as a check and balance, she said. The media is indispensable for a functional democracy, and so its independence must be guaranteed, Verheyen said. This means that all outlets have the right to praise or criticise the government or the opposition without being branded anti-government or pro-opposition, she added. The delegation also looked into the situation of public education in Hungary, Verheyen said. She said she discussed the much-critiqued Hungarian education system with Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics, who “has contributed much to European education policy” as a European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports between 2014 and 2019.
The visit focused on “culture and media policy, artistic and academic freedom” in Hungary, according to an EP statement issued last week. The delegation met Culture and Innovation Minister János Csák, Regional Development Minister Tibor Navracsics, and Budapest deputy mayor Anett Bősz, besides NGOs and media outlets. “We want to discuss with all sides the recent developments in education, cultural and media policies in Hungary — in the light of some concerns brought to the attention of our members by Hungary’s academic and artistic community and civil society,” Verheyen said before the visit.