The European Council on Foreign Relations | Hungary and press freedom: A good start to 2011 for the EU?.

Normally one EU Presidency passes onto the next with very little excitement, especially now that the Lisbon Treaty has entered into force and presidencies have even less of an agenda-setting role.

But the start of the Hungarian Presidency has sparked a bit more interest because of the attention it has focused on contentious new legislation that places ill-defined restrictions on the country’s media. The sudden influx of interest in Hungarian domestic affairs is most uncomfortable for Orbán’s government, which was hoping to create a much more positive impression with its presidency. Germany, France, the OSCE and the European Parliament have all called for the legislation to be amended, and Barroso is expected to raise similar concerns in his meeting with Orbán today.