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Media freedom: Commission launches infringement procedure against Hungary for failing to comply with EU electronic communications rules

The Commission launched this week an infringement procedure against Hungary, following the Hungarian Media Council's decisions to reject Klubradio's application on the use of radio spectrum on highly questionable grounds.

photo of a radio microphone

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The conditions attached to the use of radio spectrum and procedures to grant, prolong, renew or revoke those rights are subject to EU telecoms rules, set out in the European Electronic Communications Code (Directive (EU) 2018/1972). Key elements of these rules are the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination.

The Commission believes that the decisions of the Hungarian Media Council to refuse renewal of Klubradio's rights were disproportionate and non-transparent and thus in breach of EU law. The Commission also considers that the Hungarian national media law has been applied in a discriminatory way in this particular case. As a result, the Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Hungary, which now has two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to take the next steps in the infringement procedure and send a reasoned opinion.