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Awards for the development of the Hungarian competition culture

Today, the president of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH), Zoltán Nagy has assigned the "Award for Competition Culture" and the "Media Award for Competition Culture" founded by the Competition Culture Centre (CCC) of the GVH. The Award for Competition Culture has been assigned for the forth time this year, while the Media Award for Competition Culture for the very first time. The former award is dedicated to those experts working outside the GVH who have contributed the most to the development of competition culture in Hungary in a given year. This year the contribution of Noémi Alexa, executive officer of the Transparency International -Hungary has been acknowledged by the Award for Competition Culture. The Media Award for Competition Culture has been dedicated to the editorial team of InfoRádió that was represented by the main editor, Márton Módos. This latter award has been and will be dedicated to that editorial staff, journalist who is leader in providing the public with information about competition policy and competition law. The honoured guest of the award ceremony was Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador in Hungary, Gregory John Dorey, who also gave a solemn speech on this occasion.

Besides conducting competition supervision proceedings and competition advocacy, the GVH pays special attention to the development of competition culture. The GVH makes high efforts to provide the widest possible range of the Hungarian society with information on the rules of market competition, and with information concerning the functioning of the competition authorities of Hungary and the EU. The GVH realised that competition law friendly statutes can only come to existence if the decision-makers are acquainted with the advantages of economic competition. The undertakings can only comply with the laws if they exactly know the competition law provisions. In order to benefit from the advantages of competition, consumers have to be aware of the fact that they can always choose from the competing undertakings. By buying from the undertakings that produce cheap good quality products and hereby rewarding them, even the consumers themselves can help the fair competitors of the market in making their way.

Gregory John Dorey HM Ambassador to Hungary underlined in his speech that it would be of benefit to the Hungarian citizens if fair competition gains grounds in Hungary and corruption is repressed. He and the whole staff of the embassy do their best to make this positive process go further.

This year the GVH has decided to dedicate the Award for Competition Culture to Noémi Alexa, chief executive officer of Transparency International Hungary. Ms Alexa has devoted herself to act for the protection of fair competition and public life without corruption, hereby contributing to the reputation and the work of the GVH. This spring, upon the establishment of the new government, she called the attention of the Prime Minister and the public that one of the minister candidates had been executive officer of an undertaking that had been found guilty of cartelling. "This courageous act and initiative also called the attention of the public to the fact how important it is to respect fair competition." - Greg Dorey emphasized. Noémi Alexa also spoke about her conviction before the media, which made it obvious not only for experts interested in competition law, but also for every day people that there are still some people and organisations that pay attention and are committed to respect the rules and fair proceedings. It is also to be mentioned that the work of the GVH has also been acknowledged since Noémi Alexa has called the attention to the fact that non compliance with these rules may entail serious and irreversible consequences.

When disseminating information, the CCC of the GVH aims at reaching wide audience. The most effective way of reaching wide audience is to make use of the printed and electronic media. Still, this is not that easy. That is why it is of vital importance, with respect to public opinion about market competition, competition policy and the work of the competition authority of the EU and Hungary, what kind of image the media transmits to the public. It was in order to reward the activity of editors and journalists playing a significant role in the development of competition culture that the CCC of the GVH founded the Media Award for Competition Culture. The award may be given to those who have contributed significantly to the development of competition culture in Hungary. The award is meant to be a real appreciation: it is not dedicated every year, but only in case an editorial team or a journalist does achieve impressive measures in the development of competition culture.

This year the newly founded Media Award for Competition Culture was given to the editorial staff of Inforádió. Inforádió was represented by Márton Módos. The radio has been putting great emphasis for many years on informing the public about the activity of the GVH in details, in an understandable way. Furthermore, it informs its audience about lessons they can learn from the most important cases concerning market competition, by preparing detailed and objective background programmes on the cases. It is also to be mentioned - especially considering the other award-winner - that after Transparency International - Hungary expressing its concerns in spring, Inforádió informed listeners about the happenings, the cartel case and its background in an accurate, comprehensive and understandable way in its different report- and news programmes.

Budapest, 11 December 2009.

Hungarian Competition Authority
Communication Groupt

Further information:
József Sárai
Hungarian Competition Authority
Address: 1054 Budapest, V., Alkotmány u.5.
Postal address: 1245 Budapest, 5. POB. 1036
Tel: +36-1-472-8933
email: SARAI.Jozsef@gvh.hu