Budapest – Four civil society organization including SEENPM launched a joint campaign for media freedom. The Hungarian initiative is part of the pan-European signature collection campaign started earlier this year by the name „European Initiative for Mediapluralism”. The coalition partners in Budapest are the Hungarian Europe Society, One Million Citizens for the Freedom of Press, and the Standards Media Monitor. In Romania and Bulgaria the Center for Independent Journalism and the Media Development Center, both SEENPM members, participate actively in the respective campaigns, as well.
The possibility of organizing a „European civil initiative” is an important novelty of the Treaty of Lisbon which enables European citizens to turn to European institutions directly in order to modify or create common European laws. The European Initiative for Mediapluralism is the first such action with Hungarian participation. During the campaign the organizations need to collect one million signatures in order to achieve that the European Commission would discuss their proposal for a European media law. The targeted number of signatures that need to be collected by the respective countries is defined according to the size of the countries. From Hungary 16.500 signatures are needed until October 2013.
The Hungarian campaign focuses on the official body of the Media council, which currently severely harms the freedom of press in Hungary. In the EU a common law prescribes for each country that no political or other social group can have significant influence the official media bodies.
Next to Hungary organizations from Belgium, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain are participating in the campaign for the freedom of press. Martin Schulz, chair of the European Parliament has already expressed his support for the initiative and signed the petition.
You can sign the petition and find more information about the campaign on the official website of the initiative at www.mediainitiative.eu. Please spread the word so that we can reach our objective of one million signatures on time! Please find the campaign logo and the banner attached to this letter which you may use for this purposes.
Further information on the Hungarian campaign:
Main campaign coordination