Archive item

Title: Draft report on the situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary
Other/original title:
Publisher: European Parliament
Files: DRAFT_REPORT_fundamental_rights_standards_and_practices_in_Hungary.pdf
Abstract: On 2 May 2013, the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee released this draft report by rapporteur Rui Tavares on the state of fundamental rights in Hungary. The report presents a draft parliamentary resolution, for consideration by the Committee, which issues an extensive set of recommendations to the Hungarian government, and calls for action under Article 7 of the EU Treaty if the government does not implement them. The 31-page draft report, based on five previously released working documents (including one on media legislation), provides a broad overview of concerns, and its recommendations cover media pluralism as well as the newly amended constitution, judiciary independence, checks and balances, and freedom of religion. Among media-related concerns, the draft report deplores the "virtual monopoly" of the Hungarian News Agency MTI and the obligation for public broadcasters to exclusively use MTI content; the way public service broadcasting "is controlled by an extremely centralised institutional system" which operates without public scrutiny; "biased and opaque tendering practices" which are distorting the media market; and the lack of sanctions for anti-Roma statements. The draft report embeds its case on Hungary in a broader argument about enforcing EU standards, referencing the 'Copenhagen dilemma' of how the EU is strict with candidate countries but "lacks effective monitoring and sanctioning tools once they have joined the EU". It therefore calls for a 'Copenhagen high-level group' which would facilitate regular monitoring of fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law across all EU countries, and a European Commission 'Rule of Law Alarm Agenda' if risks of violations of the EU Treaty are identified.
Publication/ adoption date: 2013-05-02
Language: English
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