Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the European Parliament to block the appointment of a former Hungarian justice minister as the new commissioner for enlargement.
Last week, European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen revealed that the neighbourhood and enlargement portfolio had been assigned to László Trócsányi, Hungary’s minister of justice at a time when a number of lawsuits were filed against Hungary over the systematic dismantling of the rule of law.
“How are we to believe that László Trócsányi will ensure respect for the rule of law, press freedom and media pluralism in candidate countries when he has been the architect of the illiberal regression in his own country?,” commented Julie Majerczak, RSF’s representative to the European institutions. “This choice raises questions about the commission’s determination to promote the rule of law, human rights and press freedom within the EU and in third countries.”
At the same time, RSF welcomed the appointment of the future vice president for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, whose leading priorities will include combatting disinformation and defending media pluralism.
“The prioritisation of press freedom and media pluralism by the commission’s future president is a positive signal,” Mrs Majerczak said. “During the campaign for the European elections, RSF proposed 10 ways for the EU to prioritise the defence of freely and independently reported news and information over the next five years. We now hope that this promising start, seen in the new commission’s architecture, is translated into concrete actions. We will be paying close attention.”