Media Authority: centralised structure and regulatory scope

Hungary's Media Authority is responsible for overseeing all media sectors and all areas of media regulation—from tendering, licensing and spectrum management to monitoring compliance with and issuing sanctions for breaches to the new media laws. Opponents say the Media Authority's "dual-headed" structure, with the president of the Media Authority also serving as chairperson of the Media Council, centralises media governance in the hands of a single regulator with an unprecedented scope of authority over Hungary's media landscape. Critics claim the Media Authority's far-reaching regulatory scope vastly exceeds that of other media authorities in Europe. According to the Hungarian Government, the new system streamlines regulatory activities in response to digital...

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Hungarian Government statement

There is a convergent authority showing similarities with its Hungarian counterparty in Finland (Ficora).


Expert assessment

The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) is a convergent authority, as this statement correctly notes, but without specifying any provisions or powers to compare beyond this, the "similarities" between FICORA and its Hungarian counterpart cannot be substantiated. Convergent media authorities in Europe and elsewhere vary significantly in terms of their regulatory scope, powers and overall regulatory approach. FICORA's responsibilities extend to commercial TV and radio broadcasting (on the basis of the Act on Radio and Television Operations),33 telecommunications (Communications Market Act),34 postal services, privacy protection, data security, and some other areas of information society services specified in the Act on Communications Administration.35 FICORA does not regulate print, which are self-regulated by professional codes adopted by the Council for Mass Media,36 or public service media, which are governed by separate administrative provisions detailed in the Act on the Finnish Broadcasting Company.


Kari Karppinen, PhD/ Hannu Nieminen, PhD, University of Helsinki

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