Hungary to Combat ‘Pro-War Propaganda’ with Transparency Measures

Budapest wants media financing to be “transparent” as part of its “anti-war action plan,” said Gergely Gulyas

Hungary is preparing to implement a new “anti-war action plan” that will include measures designed to counter “war propaganda,” Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, announced at a press conference on Monday.

Under the plan, any political groups or media outlets accused of promoting aggressive policies would be required to disclose their funding sources. The objective is “full transparency,” Gulyas stated. The measure is primarily aimed at the media, according to the country’s news outlets, who also noted that political parties in Hungary are already legally prohibited from receiving funding from outside the country.

The government would also retain the authority to block any foreign funding and return the money to its source if it is used to finance “war propaganda,” Gulyas said.

The official provided limited details about how the government would determine what precisely constitutes “war propaganda.” He mentioned that the Justice Ministry would develop a mechanism to assess whether a media outlet is involved in such practices.

When asked whether “foreign funding” included money originating from within the EU, Gulyas clarified that the measure would focus on financing coming from outside the bloc. However, he argued that the EU itself is dominated by “war propaganda” centered on the ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

Gulyas stated that Budapest is facing “political, legal and financial blackmail” intended to pressure it into aligning with Kiev’s Western supporters in the conflict, but that it has so far resisted this pressure. “There is no blackmail that [can force] Hungary to change its conviction that every political step must serve the end of war,” he asserted.

His remarks came as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban embarked on what he described as a peace mission, involving visits to Kiev and Moscow within a few days. In the Ukrainian capital, he called for a ceasefire, characterizing it as a first step towards conflict resolution. This proposal was rejected by Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky.

Orban labeled his Moscow trip as the first step towards restoring dialogue. This move drew criticism from the EU, which stated that the Hungarian prime minister, whose country currently holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, lacked a mandate to speak on behalf of Brussels.

On Monday, Gulyas addressed this issue by stating that peace cannot be achieved without direct dialogue with all parties involved in the conflict. “Hungary would like to be in contact with any country that can contribute to peace,” he added.