BRUSSELS — The European Union’s executive says it is closely following the media situation in Hungary after the closure of the nation’s main opposition newspaper further reduced the diversity of political voices.

EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that “the Commission is aware of and concerned” about the situation and stressed again “media freedom, pluralism and the protection of journalists are at the very base of a free and democratic society.”

He adds that “we are of course following the situation closely.”

The EU institutions and member state Hungary have clashed in the past over issues of fundamental rights and accusations that Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is trying to extend its dominance over the media.