Archive item

Title: Hungary and the Rule of Law - Statement of the European Commission in the Plenary Debate of the European Parliament
Other/original title:
Publisher: European Commission
Files: Hungary and the Rule of Law - Statement of the European Commission in the Plenary Debate of the European Parliament.pdf
Abstract: At a Plenary Debate of the European Parliament about Hungary and the Rule of Law on 17 April 2013, Vice-President of the European Commission Viviane Reding presented this statement of the European Commission. The debate was organised in response to far-reaching constitutional changes in Hungary (the so-called "Fourth Amendment"). Reding reminded parliament that European Commission President Barroso and Council of Europe Secretary-General Jagland had already communicated their concern in a joint statement, and quoted Jagland saying that the amendment "gives the impression that the government is willing to use the two-thirds parliamentary majority to overrule the Constitutional Court". Reding added that Barroso had also written a letter to Prime Minister Orban, and described the three main points he had made. They concerned a clause which would pass on any fines imposed by the European Court of Justice to the Hungarian citizens in the form of a tax; broad powers enabling the National Office for the Judiciary to transfer cases from one court to another; and restrictions on political advertisements. Article 5.1 of the Fourth Amendment limits the publication of political ads during election campaigns to the public media, even though their audience share is only 20%. Reding also reminded parliament of other infringement procedures against Hungary, including one on the independence of the Data Protection Authority currently pending before the Court of Justice. Legal analysis regarding the constitutional amendments is ongoing, she announced, and the Commission will start infringement procedures where relevant. She also referred to the upcoming European Parliament resolution and Venice Commission opinion on Hungary.
Publication/ adoption date: 2013-04-17
Language: English
Rights: "© European Union, 1995-2013. Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged, save where otherwise stated,"