Archive item

Title: U.S. Helsinki Commission Hearing "The Trajectory of Democracy: Why Hungary Matters": Testimony by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brent Hartley
Other/original title:
Publisher: U.S. Helsinki Commission (Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe)
Files: CSCE __ Testimony __ Mr. Brent Hartley Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.pdf
Abstract: The U.S. Helsinki Commission (Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe), an independent agency of the U.S. federal government chaired by Senator Benjamin Cardin and Congressman Christopher Smith, organized a hearing on the state of democracy in Hungary on March 19, 2013, inviting a number of speakers to present on the subject. This is the testimony by the U.S. Department of State's Brent Hartley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. "Hungary remains a strong ally of the United States," he told the commission, but "in the last two years we have been open about our concerns regarding the state of checks and balances, and independence of key institutions, in Hungary". If those concerns are not addressed, he warned, it will "set a bad precedent for OSCE participating States and new members and aspirants to NATO". Hartley recalled the concerns the State Department has expressed regarding the Hungarian media laws, which he said were passed with a speed and lack of serious consultation that "did not honor" Hungary's "democratic spirit". He also criticized the significant powers the new Media Council was accorded by the media laws, the long terms its members serve, and the lack of oppositional representation in the Council. The recently passed constitutional amendment, he concluded, "again called into question" the Hungarian government's "commitment to checks and balances and institutional independence".
Publication/ adoption date: 2013-03-19
Language: English