Hungary: Government bypasses court order on journalists’ hospital access

Hungary: Government bypasses court order on journalists’ hospital access

Hungary is the only EU member state not to give media access to hospitals during pandemic. The IPI global network today condemned a Hungarian government decree which – despite a court order – ensured journalists from independent media titles could continue be barred from reporting from inside hospitals. IPI called on the Fidesz government and its pandemic management body to approve future requests for journalists to access health facilities and stop hindering the media from doing their jobs and reporting on the realities of COVID-19.

Since the beginning of pandemic, representatives of the independent press have been barred from filming or reporting from within hospitals and their COVID-19 wards. In March 2021, this led to an unprecedented appeal from the the editors of 28 media outlets to the prime minister that the rules be changed to allow the media to record within health care facilities.

This appeal was rejected by the PM, who said that such a move could lead to the spread of  “fake news”. Since the start of the pandemic, the government-controlled public television and the state news agency have been the only media permitted to film inside hospitals. Independent newsrooms have requested access on dozens of occasions but all were rejected by the government’s Department of Human Resources (Emmi).

This led Telex and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) to launch legal action against the government on the basis that the order disproportionately affected media freedom. The Metropolitan Court initially sided with the government last year. Following an appeal, on January 27, 2022, the Supreme Court sided with Telex and ruled that Emmi could not bar media from reporting from within hospitals, as that power lay with individual hospital directors.

However, just two days later on January 29, the government passed a decree which bypassed the Supreme Court’s ruling. It instead determined that only the government centre in charge of managing the pandemic, the Operational Tribunal, could decide on press access and accreditation. The rule came into effect on February 5, 2022, leading to a fresh outcry about government interference from the country’s remaining independent media titles.

“This government decree is another shocking example of the Hungarian government’s efforts to block media’s access to public health information and hinder the ability of independent media to do their job” said IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen. “During the pandemic, media across Europe have been able to report from within hospitals and speak with front-line health workers. This has been vital for showing the human face of the health services and for building trust in state health measures, as well as allowing for frontline staff to raise concern when necessary and to foster healthy debate on health policy.

“In Hungary, however, despite numerous appeals, journalists have repeatedly been barred from visiting hospitals, limiting transparency and leaving reporting from within health facilities to state media, which sorely lack independence and impartiality. There is no other country in the European Union right now which still has such restrictive hospital reporting policies in place as Hungary.

“IPI continues to condemn the Hungarian government’s efforts to ban journalists from hospitals. That a government decree was used to bypass a ruling from the Curia is a stark example of the length which Fidesz will go to retain control over the COVID-19 messaging ahead of the upcoming elections. We stand with independent journalists in Hungary in their demand for access to information, which is a fundamental right. It’s shocking that this is still up for debate in an EU member state.”

The government decree means the Operational Tribunal will have full responsibilities for deciding on which journalists and TV crews can film or record interviews on the premises of health facilities. That body will have the power to overrule directors who feel it is acceptable to welcome media into their facilities they head.

During the pandemic, journalists working for what remains of the country’s independent media operate in an extremely challenging environment for accessing public information or questioning public officials. While media critical of the government are shunned for interview requests, the prime minister meanwhile gives expansive interviews to state-controlled media. After the media sent an open letter to the PM in March 2021, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs accused “left-wing portals” of spreading “fake news” to embarrass the country’s health care system.

At different points during the pandemic, doctors and other healthcare professionals have been forced to speak with media off record to raises concern about their institutions’ capacity to handle rising cases and an influx of patients. The government decree came amidst a general election campaign for the April 3 election.

This statement by IPI is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries.

IPI as part of MFRR
Viktor Orbán Library

Video: How Hungary’s state media interviews Orbán (Telex)

Video: How Hungary’s state media interviews Orbán (Telex)

Viktor Orbán ignores questions from independent news outlets. But he’s happy to speak to state-controlled media that lob softball questions his way, explains

While Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán manages to avoid tough questions domestically, he has been dropping by Kossuth Radio almost every Friday to give an interview to one of the leading editors of the public media, which operates with an annual budget of 325 million euros of taxpayer money. In his third cycle with a two-thirds majority, Viktor Orbán fields questions almost exclusively from Katalin Nagy on the state radio station. The journalist, who was awarded the Knight’s Cross from the Hungarian Order of Merit, doesn’t hesitate to take advantage of these opportunities.

This piece is part of a content series on threats to independent media in Central Europe as part of a collaboration between IPI as part of the MFRR with leading independent media in the region.

MFRR 3 consortium logos
The shredding of the free press in Hungary (Telex) Library

The shredding of the free press in Hungary (Telex)

The shredding of the free press in Hungary (Telex)

Viktor Orbán’s takeover of the media didn’t come overnight. It’s been a long time in the making. Hungary’s traces the evolution of media capture.

For 30 years Viktor Orbán and his old political colleagues have held the view that the press is against them, that journalists always help their opponents. If Fidesz loses, they think, the power of the press has won. If Fidesz wins, it does so in spite of the media headwind. The same line was taken in Orbán’s 2019 governmental press conference— when he told members of the Hungarian and foreign press that more journalists were against him than for him, “but even in such circumstances it is possible to win” — as in the analysis of the 1994 election result, where Fidesz’s defeat was blamed on a media superiority stacked up against the party. However, the party did not always view the press this way.

In this article we look at the development of the Hungarian media over those 30 years. Today, Hungary is in a dismal 92nd position in the World Press Freedom Index, which is put together by Reporters without Borders (RSF). How did it reach the point where ownership of most of the Hungarian TV, radio, printed and internet media is in some way tied to the government and its politicians.

This piece is published as part of a collaboration between IPI as part of the MFRR with as part of a content series on threats to independent media in Central Europe. 

MFRR 3 consortium logos

EU action needed to tackle spyware abuses after Pegasus…

EU action needed to tackle spyware abuses after Pegasus revelations

As the European Parliament today debates the Pegasus spyware scandal, the undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) call for an immediate investigation into the alleged use of the spyware against journalists by Hungarian authorities and urge the strong implementation of new EU rules on the export of cyber-surveillance technology around the world.


Revelations by the Pegasus Project that at least 180 journalists in 20 countries had their phones infected by the NSO Group’s spyware underscored the need for urgent action by the international community to tackle the unregulated spread of such technology and to create safeguards for the protection of human rights, including the freedom of the press.

Within the European Union, credible allegations indicate that Pegasus was illegally deployed by Hungarian intelligence or national security services in 2018 and 2019 against at least five journalists, including András Szabó and Szabolcs Panyi from Direkt36, one of Hungary’s last remaining independent media outlets. Fresh revelations surfaced last week when Hungarian media reported that Zoltán Páva, the publisher of the news portal and former Member of the European Parliament, had been surveilled using Pegasus as recently as May this year.

Last week it was also revealed that the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) secretly purchased the technology from NSO in 2019. In France, prosecutors are probing allegations that journalists from media outlets including Le Monde, Agence France-Presse and FRANCE 24 were surveilled by Moroccan intelligence services using Pegasus.

The failure to control the acquisition, trade and use of such intrusive technology inside the bloc means that the number of EU member states to have bought Pegasus or other similar cyber-surveillance technology remains unknown. Current estimations may represent the tip of the iceberg. This opacity poses significant threats to journalistic sources, privacy and safety, undermines media freedom and constitutes a clear failure by the EU to close the gaps in its regulatory framework.

As Parliament debates the matter, our organisations again urge the European Commission to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into alleged abuses by the Hungarian authorities against journalists and others. The Commission must establish the extent of Hungary’s use of Pegasus, identify what safeguards have been implemented and react to any abuses. Until such an investigation is carried out, the Pegasus revelations will continue to undermine journalists’ safety and have a chilling effect on what remains of independent media within the country. Robust and effective legal protection must be guaranteed within EU member states against unlawful surveillance by domestic intelligence, national security and law enforcement agencies to guard against human rights violations, including the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy as protected under domestic, European and international law.

At the same time, the EU needs to protect journalists from illegal surveillance outside as well as inside its borders. Reports by NSO that suggest that EU member states Cyprus and Bulgaria granted export licenses for its technology are also deeply disturbing. While Cypriot authorities have denied to the Commission that it has any export links with NSO, the assurances remain unsatisfying. Meanwhile, the response from the Bulgarian authorities has yet to be disclosed. The Commission must renew its engagement with the relevant authorities in Sofia to seek immediate clarity. If confirmed, immediate action must be taken to revoke the export license and establish how and when it was granted.

EU member states themselves have a role to play. On September 9, after a decade of negotiation, new EU export controls came into force with the Recast Dual-Use Regulation, which among other things aims to strengthen controls on the international trade of so-called “dual-use” cyber-surveillance tools. The MFRR urges all 27 member states to swiftly implement this landmark regulation and to collaborate in a transparent manner with the Commission on the sharing of information involving the export of such surveillance tools from the customs union.

The subsequent annual report prepared by the Commission under this regulation should act as a much-needed tool for holding the national authorities authorising the sale of this technology to account. It will also lift the veil on the potential sale of spyware tools by commercial actors based in EU member states to authoritarian regimes around the world. For too long the industry has been able to escape proper oversight and regulation. The Commission should closely monitor and enforce states’ adherence to the new rules. Moving forward, more frequent compilation of information and updates about the buying and selling of advanced surveillance tools may be required to address a fast-changing market.

Despite the modest advances in rights protection in relation to the licensing of these technologies for export from the EU subsequent to the entry into force of the recast dual-use regulation, there evidently remains the need for an internationally applicable regulatory framework that can prevent, mitigate and redress the negative human rights impact of surveillance technology. Until this is in place, we continue to call for a global moratorium on the sale and transfer of spyware technology. The European Union should lead the way on pushing for international agreements on the freeze of sales of these cyberweapons around the world.

Signed by:

  • ARTICLE 19
  • European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  • Free Press Unlimited (FPU)
  • International Press Institute (IPI)
  • OBC Transeuropa (OBCT)
NSO Group pegasus Library

Spying scandal further increases worries of Hungarian journalists

Spying scandal further increases worries of Hungarian journalists

IPI Contributor Blanka Zöldi

In mid-July, revelations about the abuse of the Israeli Pegasus spyware sparked scandals across the world. Viktor Orbán’s Hungary made international headlines as the only EU member state where, evidence suggests, the highly intrusive cyberweapon was used against journalists, lawyers, politicians, and businessmen critical of the government.

The manufacturer of the spyware, NSO Group, claims to sell Pegasus exclusively to foreign governments and state agencies to fight terrorism and organized crime. However, according to an international investigation led by Forbidden Stories, a leaked database of 50,000 phone numbers apparently selected for surveillance includes those belonging to almost 200 journalists worldwide, from Azerbaijan to India to Mexico.

The list also includes four journalists from Hungary: Szabolcs Panyi and András Szabó, reporters with investigative centre Direkt36; Brigitta Csikász, who was working with the investigative website Átlátszó at the time of her surveillance; and former journalist Dávid Dercsényi, according to reports by Direkt36, the Hungarian partner of the international investigation.

While being on the list does not necessarily mean that the target was actually attacked with Pegasus, in the case of Csikász, Panyi, and Szabó, forensic analysis of their phones identified clear traces of the Israeli spyware. The journalists cover a wide range of topics connected to abuses of power and suspected corruption by Hungarian politicians and authorities. During the surveillance, Csikász wrote about the misuse of EU funds, while Panyi and Szabó worked on an article about Russian-led International Investment Bank, among others.

Surveillance of journalists: a new level

The space for independent journalism has gradually been shrinking in Hungary since the current governing party, Fidesz, came to power in 2010, with the country falling from 23rd to 92nd in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters without Borders. In 2019, almost 78 percent of media were pro-government according to an analysis by media monitor Mérték, while accessing information has become increasingly difficult for independent journalists.

Still, the high-tech surveillance of journalists marks a “new level” in Hungary’s media environment, according to Péter Pető, chief editor of one of the most popular independent news websites, Although the website’s owner, Zoltán Varga – whose phone number also appeared on the Pegasus lists – had already suggested earlier that he might be under surveillance, Pető said that their journalists were both shocked and surprised when the news broke.

“Obviously, we have been under no illusion. But now, even our minimal sense of security has been shattered”, Pető said, adding that the scandal will make journalistic work even more difficult by increasing the potential costs of media owners, journalists, and sources alike. “It’s not only that media companies will have to spend more if they want to ensure their workers’ security. The potential surveillance might also discourage sources from sharing confidential information, and young students from becoming journalists.”

Under the assumption of being watched

At the same time, several journalists told IPI that the Pegasus scandal will not bring dramatic changes in their everyday operations, as they have already been working with the awareness that their communication might be intercepted and have taken security measures accordingly to protect their sources.

“Personally, I was not very surprised by the news”, Szabolcs Dull, one of the editors-in-chief of the news site Telex, founded after mass resignations over Dull’s dismissal from his previous workplace, Index. Dull recalled that in an attempt to discredit him, his list of phone calls was leaked to pro-government media last summer, and, as a political reporter, he has also seen high-level sources deeply worried about surveillance. “There was even a senior Fidesz politician who was wary of meeting me in person. He feared that our matching cell tower information would give us away”, Dull explained.

One of the surveilled journalists, Brigitta Csikász, told Direkt36 that she had received one of the first “friendly warnings” in 2010: “I was told that they are eavesdropping on my phone. From that time on, I was aware that it comes with my job that they are watching what I’m doing.”

Regarding security measures, Péter Erdélyi, senior editor of, pointed out that in 2017, they made it compulsory for all of their journalists to use two-factor authentication (2FA) as an extra layer of security for e-mails. For certain projects, they moved their meetings outside of the offices to minimize the risk of surveillance. Similarly, at investigative website Átlátszó, encrypted messaging, storing data on encrypted drives, using VPN and 2FA have been common practices, editor-in-chief Tamás Bodoky said, adding that they are aware that these measures cannot provide perfect security either.

Tools like Signal and other encrypted messaging apps still provide reasonable security, as spywares like Pegasus are currently too expensive to be used on a mass scale, as Szabolcs Panyi, one of the journalists whose phone was compromised, pointed out in a radio show last week. “However, such tools are becoming cheaper and cheaper”, he warned.

Permissive legal framework without remedies

Almost three weeks into the scandal, the Orbán government has not provided a substantive reply to questions about the monitoring of journalists. First, it gave an answer to journalists’ detailed questions that was later described by Edward Snowden – the former CIA employee who blew the whistle about the United States’s spy program in 2013 – as “the most incriminating” he had ever seen. A Hungarian government spokesperson said that they were “not aware of any alleged data collection claimed by the request” followed by a counter-question asking journalists whether “there was any intelligence service to help them formulate the questions”.

In the following days, government officials labelled the Pegasus scandal as an unjust attack on the Orbán administration and avoided answering questions about whether surveillance was carried out by Hungarian state actors – and if so, who authorized it, when, and on what grounds. Most recently, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó stated that even journalists, regardless of their profession, could be surveilled in secret if they “pose a threat to the security and interests of the Hungarian nation”.

The gathering of secret information, however, is so loosely regulated in Hungary that virtually anyone can be put under surveillance, with the order “taking place entirely within the realm of the executive and without an assessment of strict necessity” and “without effective remedial measures,” as observed by a judgement of the European Court of Human Rights already back in 2016. Five years later, however, the Hungarian government only claimed that the “examination of the requirements stemming from the judgment in terms of legislative amendments, which is currently underway, is expected to take some time”.

In the wake of the Pegasus scandal, opposition parties called for the resignation of the government and organized a protest one week after the story broke, with the participation of 1,000 Hungarians – some of whom expressed disappointment over the low public interest in the event. According to a recent poll, while almost two-thirds of Hungarians have heard about the Pegasus scandal and more than half of the respondents thinks it is a serious issue, 58 percent were sceptical about whether it will have any effects on next year’s parliamentary elections.

Disclaimer: IPI contributor Blanka Zöldi is a journalist with Direkt36, an investigative centre that participated in the Pegasus investigation and whose colleagues are among the journalists targeted with the spyware.

MFRR 3 consortium logos

Hungary: MFRR highly alarmed by Pegasus surveillance revelations

Hungary: MFRR highly alarmed by Pegasus surveillance revelations

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) is highly alarmed by the revelations by a consortium led by French NGO Forbidden Stories about the surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers and others through the Pegasus spyware program developed by Israeli company NSO Group. The leak, which revealed the involvement of the Hungarian government among others, raises significant implications for journalists’ security and the protection of their sources as well as raising concerns through the chilling effect such applications have on journalists beyond those immediately affected and ultimately, on everyone’s right to information.

We call on the Hungarian government and other implicated governments to immediately stop using the spyware and to provide transparency about its application so far. We also call on the NSO Group to take its corporate social responsibility more seriously and stop selling Pegasus to regimes with poor human rights and media freedom records, provide more transparency that will enable proper oversight and establish more stringent due diligence processes.

Forbidden Stories obtained leaked records of phone data, suggesting that various governments worldwide selected media workers, lawyers and activists as possible targets for invasive surveillance with the Pegasus spyware. The spyware has the potential to transform the targets’ phones into surveillance devices, allowing access to all data on the phone and enabling control over audio and video to make recordings surreptitiously. Inclusion of a phone number on the leaked list does not necessarily entail that the linked device was successfully hacked, but forensic analysis on dozens of phones so far effectively shows evidence of Pegasus activity in more than half of the cases. NSO Group has repeatedly said that its spyware, which they sold to some of the world’s most repressive regimes, is meant for use only against terrorists and serious criminals. Unsurprisingly, despite claims by NSO Group that they will cut off clients if they misuse the spyware, it appears that Pegasus has been used well beyond this stated intended target group by those clients, to potentially include anyone perceived as an opponent or threat to the regime.

In the European Union, forensic analysis of several devices has shown that the Hungarian government has deployed the spyware program against investigative journalists and the circle of one of the country’s last remaining independent media owners. At least five journalists figure in the leaked records and at least ten lawyers and an opposition politician. They include Szabolcs Panyi, a well-known reporter at investigative outlet Direkt36, who has been publicly attacked in the past by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s spokesperson Zoltán Kovács, who has accused him of “Orbánophobia”. Also analysis of his colleague András Szabó’s phone showed positive results for the use of Pegasus. Other Hungarian media workers selected for potential targeting include Dávid Dercényi, who edits a newspaper put out by the authority of an opposition-run district in Budapest; a photographer who worked as a fixer for visiting foreign journalists; and, a well-known investigative journalist. Furthermore, it appears also the circle of investor Zoltán Varga, who owns several independent media outlets and has been pressured in the past, was surveilled using the Pegasus software.

In a response quoted in The Guardian, the Hungarian government said that “state bodies authorised to use covert instruments are regularly monitored by governmental and non-governmental institutions.” The country has a very permissive legal framework for surveillance. In 2020, the justice minister approved 1,285 surveillance requests (not necessarily using Pegasus spyware).

The most recent revelations about Pegasus serve to highlight two things. On the one hand, they underscore the urgent need for meaningful reforms that will ensure powerful commercial technology is not abused by governments at the expense of civil liberties. They also show the essential role watchdog journalism plays in safeguarding the human rights that underpin democracy, by exposing violations and holding the perpetrators to account.

Signed by:

  • Article 19
  • European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  • Free Press Unlimited (FPU)
  • International Press Institute (IPI)
  • Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)
President of the United States Joe Biden Photo: The White House Library

Biden urged to address media freedom in Hungary and…

Biden urged to address media freedom in Hungary and Poland during Europe visit

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) has published an open letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to address the deteriorating state of media freedom in Hungary and Poland as he meets with EU and NATO partners this week.

Dear President Biden,

On the occasion of your visit to Brussels to meet with the European Union and NATO partners, the Media Freedom Rapid Response wants to draw your attention to a serious deterioration in media freedom in certain European countries that profoundly threatens the rule of law underpinning our democracies and mutual security.

We are particularly concerned by the situation in Poland and Hungary where the respective governments have set out on a steady path to erode media pluralism and silence critical journalism through a process of state-led capture of the media.

Hungary is the leading exponent of the state capture strategy, by applying regulatory, legal and financial powers and creating a hostile environment that punishes and excludes critical media while building a pro-government propaganda apparatus. Independent media are subjected to a range of state-driven economic pressures such as the withdrawal of state advertising, targeted taxing and the removal of licenses. Most recently, the license of the radio broadcasterKlubrádió was denied on arbitrary grounds, a move that has now prompted an official enquiryby the European Commission.

Poland is now firmly set on a similar trajectory with the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party systematically undermining independent media, including foreign-owned media such as TVN24. Efforts to tighten the screws on independent media include blocking unfavoured mergers, a proposed new advertising tax, the discriminatory use of state advertising and a stream of vexatious lawsuits against its media critics. PiS has engaged PKN Orlen, the state-controlled energy giant, as a vehicle for gaining control over independent media. Its acquisition of regional news publisher Polska Press has already led to an editorial purge ahead of local elections.

These are not isolated cases. Media freedom is under increased pressure as populist politicians around the world, and in Europe, abuse government power to attack free speech. This, in turn, threatens democracy and the rule of law as bedrocks of the transatlantic relationship.

The U.S. has long been a leader when it comes to championing press freedom and free speech around the world. We believe that your visit offers an important opportunity to reclaim that mantle at a critical time and reinforce the U.S.’s commitment to media freedom as a shared value.

We therefore urge you as President of the United States to support efforts by the European Commission to demand reform in Poland and Hungary that guarantee media pluralism and independent journalism

Kind regards

International Press Institute

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

OBC Transeuropa (OBCT)

Logo of Klubradio Library

IPI welcomes EU infringement proceedings against Hungary over silencing…

IPI welcomes EU infringement proceedings against Hungary over silencing of Klubrádió

The International Press Institute (IPI) today welcomed the long overdue launch of infringement proceedings by the European Commission against Hungary over the silencing of the country’s last remaining major independent radio station.

On Wednesday the Commission, the EU’s powerful executive body, announced that it would open the procedure against Budapest over a decision by the government-controlled Media Council to reject Klubrádió’s application to return to the radio waves.

“We welcome today’s announcement by the Commission, which confirms what IPI has long argued: the decision by the Hungarian Media Council to deny Klubrádió’s application was arbitrary, discriminatory and clearly intended to silence the station’s critical voice”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “IPI has long urged the Commission to take concrete steps to defend the rule of law and put a halt to the systematic and ongoing state-led erosion of media freedom and pluralism in Hungary over the last decade.

“While this is a significant step and while we hope this will ensure one of the country’s last remaining independent broadcasters is not silenced ahead of elections next year, infringement proceedings and sanctions on Budapest should have started years ago. Going forward, the case of Klubrádió demonstrates the clear need for an ambitious Media Freedom Act which will give the EU a stronger toolbox for intervening in politically motivated regulatory decisions and defending press freedom wherever it is threatened.”

Klubrádió was forced off air in February after the media regulator, which has long been filled with figures appointed by the ruling Fidesz party of Viktor Orbán, rejected the automatic extension for the renewal of its license for the 92.9 MHz frequency in Budapest.

In March, the Hungarian Media Council then rejected Klubrádió’s fresh application for the tender and ruled its bid invalid, blocking it from returning to the frequency it had broadcast on for two decades and muzzling one of the country’s last critical broadcasters.

IPI said the regulator’s decision-making panel had provided several groundless and discriminatory justifications for its judgment, in which it accused Klubrádió of “illegal management” and cited miniscule material programming errors and unjustified concerns over its business plan.

Announcing the infringement proceedings, the Commission said the decision by the Hungarian Media Council not to grant the license was made on “highly questionable grounds” and breached EU law on proportionality, transparency and non-discrimination.

It said Hungary violated EU telecoms rules regarding powers to grant, prolong, renew or revoke use of licenses on the radio spectrum, adding that it believed that the Hungarian national media law had been applied in a “discriminatory” manner.

EU Commissioner for Values on Transparency Vera Jourová said that the Commission had warned Hungarian authorities and urged them to find a solution so that Klubrádió could continue broadcasting, but that it had not received a satisfactory response. The Hungarian authorities now have two months to respond.

Meanwhile, Klubrádió remains in a legal battle with the Media Council over its decision, which the station appealed. In spite on the ongoing legal dispute, the Media Council allocated a six-month provisional license for the 92.9 MHz to Spirit FM, a broadcaster operated by a company affiliated with an evangelical church close to the ruling party. Klubrádió continues to broadcast online.