The Orban government has revoked the license of the Hungarian citizen radio station “Civil Radio” after 24 years. The free radios in Baden-Württemberg are also threatened with being deported to the Internet if they are switched off in the future. What does this mean for the European civil society in the Danube region? How do the states deal with this and what possibilities are there to deal with it.
A live broadcast as part of “25 Years of Radio free FM” which would have taken place at the same time as the International Danube Festival without Corona. To be heard on July 9, 2020 at 16 h on free FM. Guests are Ákos Cserháti (Managing Director Civil Radio, Budapest), Predrag Novković (Assistant editor-in-chief O-Radio, Novi Sad), Michael Diesenreither, (Head of communications, Radio FRO, Linz), Sabine Fratzke (Radio free FM, Ulm). Moderation: Michael Nicolai (President AMARC Europe).
In November 2019 Foundation for Civil Radio filed a lawsuit against a decision by the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority that from December 21, 2019 Civil Radio had to stop its broadcasting on the air.
We knew that this legal action would not necessarily lead to a return of the frequency we used for 25 years – since we lost something, which was not our property. We have never questioned frequencies being national or state property, allocation of which is done by authorities or professional bodies. There is more at stake here than the case of Civil Radio.
The Metropolitan Court dismissed our legal action. Nevertheless, we feel that the decision made at first instance could investigate our case only in the light of the current media law. We appeal, because we firmly believe that this next move of ours will bring us closer to achieve a more just and fair regulation.
Our arguments are based on the fact that the control and regulation method used by the media authority is not at all consistent with everyday practice or the principles of the Constitution on freedom of press and lacks all the community values that are the most important operational elements of the media we represent.
Our goal is to present the case before the Constitutional Court or platforms defending European values and rights in order to stand up and act for the freedom of the Hungarian press and prevent other free media from being silenced. To achieve this goal our legal representative The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) and Mertek Media Monitor is assisting us.