Hungary is making every effort to ensure its controversial media law complies with EU rules but it is too early to say if proposed amendments meet all EU concerns, the European Commission said on Friday.
Hungary, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, drew sharp rebukes from France, Britain and Germany after enacting the media law late last year. They cited concerns over respect for media freedom and EU regulations on broadcasting.
The EU executive said it received a letter from the Hungarian government on Thursday detailing proposed amendments.
"There's every indication that the Hungarian authorities are making every effort, as they said they would, to ensure that their law does comply with EU law," Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd told a regular news briefing.
He said the proposed amendments addressed the three issues raised by the Commission, but added that lawyers would have to determine if the changes would bring Hungary into full and complete compliance with EU law.
Todd declined to reveal details of the letter, but the German mass circulation daily Bild reported the document said foreign media firms would be exempt from fines and the obligation to register with Hungarian authorities if they stuck to the principles of the media law.
Providers of pay television services would also not be obliged to conduct unbiased reporting, the German paper said.
The Commission has been concerned that Hungary's law could limit freedom of expression by requiring all broadcasters to provide balanced news coverage and register with a state authority.
A senior Hungarian official said last month Hungary was ready to narrow the scope of the law and renounce plans to fine foreign media firms that breach it.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 11 Şubat 2011, 16:24