The Hungarian public media stands by Poland’s independent public media, Dániel Papp, the head of Hungary’s Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), and Anita Altorjai, the head of public media service provider Duna Médiaszolgáltató, said in a letter to the leaders of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Thursday. In their letter to EBU President Delphine Ernotte-Cunci and Director-General Noel Curran, Papp and Altorjai cited reports of Poland’s public media having become the “prisoners” of the Polish government even despite rulings by the Polish constitutional court.
They expressed MTVA and Duna Médiaszolgáltató’s “deep concern” over the “everyday political intervention” against Poland’s independent public media.
Papp and Altorjai said they trusted that joint efforts would steer the actions of the Polish government in connection with the public media within an appropriate constitutional and democratic framework. They said the procedure to shut down Polish public media had put it in an uncertain situation and was also harmful to Polish society.
Given the legal irregularities found by Poland’s constitutional court, they said the Hungarian public media was asking the EBU to put the case of the Polish public media on its agenda and express its objection to the treatment of the public media if it finds that the Polish government’s actions go against the EBU’s norms.
They said Hungarian public media respected the decisions of Poland’s legally elected government, but warned decision-makers against structural and personnel changes that lack democratic debate and consultations with all stakeholders. They stressed that the process of appointing public media leaders was key to ensuring that the public media is able to operate independently. They also asked the EBU’s leaders to use all the tools at the organisation’s disposal to take steps in the interest of the Polish public media’s independence.