Fundamental communication rights

Media freedom and pluralism, freedom of expression and freedom of information are crucial issues for a research center on media and communication, and these subjects are as salient online as offline. In particular, the CMCS has cultivated expertise on issues of privacy and data protection in the information society.

The CMCS was part of an international consortium commissioned by the European Commission to undertake the study Indicators for Media Pluralism – Towards a Risk-Based Approach. The study, in which the CMCS collaborated with the University of Leuven, Ernst & Young Belgium and Jönköping International Business School, had as goal to create an effective monitoring tool to help the European Commission, national policy makers and other stakeholders to assess media pluralism within the EU.

The CMCS-coordinated research network East of West: Setting a New Central and Eastern European Media Research Agenda resulted in three books, which included Media Freedom and Pluralism - Media Policy Challenges in the Enlarged Europe. The 2011 CMCS study Hungarian Media Laws in Europe: An Assessment of the Consistency of Hungary's Media Laws with European Practices and Norms also touches on issues of media freedom and pluralism. The issues of social media and online advocacy figured prominently at the ambitious conference Internet at Liberty 2010, which was co-organised by Google and CEU.

The CMCS partnered with Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center for a major Europe-wide study of privacy laws and recent trends and developments related to the right to privacy, European Privacy and Human Rights (EPHR), funded under the European Commission special Fundamental Rights and Citizenship program. It also participated in the research project Broadening the Range of Awareness in Data Protection (BROAD), funded under the same European Commission program, in which it collaborated with the Eötvös Károly Public Policy Institute (EKINT) and the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) at Tilburg University.

Additional publications by Kristina Irion, CMCS Research Director Public Policy, on the issues of privacy and data protection have included articles about Privacy and Security: International Communications Surveillance and an OECD working paper on The Protection of Children Online: Risks Faced by Children Online and Policies to Protect Them.

CMCS Senior Research Fellow Peter Molnar has written and advocated regularly about issues of freedom of expression and access to information, and in particular about approaches to “hate speech,” such as in a book chapter called Towards Better Law and Policy Against Hate Speech - The 'Clear and Present Danger' Test in Hungary and an article about EU and CoE legislation and free expression in Hungary. The CMCS organized successive workshops on access to information in 2004, 2008 and 2009, the second of which resulted in the Budapest Declaration on the Right of Access to Information, and co-organized a number of workshops and conferences on political extremism and hate speech.