Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Posts Tagged ‘Hungary’

Hungary’s emergency measures

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 18 Maggio 2020

In a debate with EC Vice-President Vera Jourová and the Croatian Presidency of the EU, a majority of speakers underlined that the emergency measures taken by the Hungarian Government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including the declaration of an unlimited state of emergency, are not in line with EU rules and warned of the increasing risk to democracy.Several MEPs called on the European Commission to finish scrutinising the legal changes and open infringement procedures. They specifically asked for payments to Hungary to be stopped, in the framework of the new financial perspectives and the recovery plan, unless rule of law is respected. They also criticised the passive attitude of the Council and insisted it moves on the Article 7 procedure initiated by the Parliament.Some MEPs defended the decisions taken by a democratically elected Parliament in Hungary and compared the exceptional measures adopted in the country with those taken by other EU member states, such as France or Spain.In its resolution of 17 April, Parliament already stated that the decisions in Hungary to prolong the state of emergency indefinitely, to authorise the government to rule by decree, and to weaken the Parliament’s oversight, are “totally incompatible with European values”.
MEPs highlighted that all COVID-related measures “must be in line with the rule of law, strictly proportionate […], clearly related to the ongoing health crisis, limited in time and subjected to regular scrutiny.”

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EP stands up for democracy in Hungary during COVID-19

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 27 marzo 2020

The Civil Liberties Committee highlights that any extraordinary measure adopted by the Hungarian government in response to the pandemic must respect the EU’s founding values.Following developments in Hungary, where the government is trying to expand its executive authority in order to rule by decree while the country remains in a “state of danger”, Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), made the following statement, in his capacity as Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee.“On behalf of the Civil Liberties Committee, I would like to express our concern about the Hungarian National Assembly’s intention to vote on extending the ‘state of danger’ in Hungary and the related changes to the Criminal Code. We are aware that member states have a responsibility to take protective measures in these difficult times, but these measures should always ensure that fundamental rights, rule of law and democratic principles are protected.In this context, we would call on the Commission to assess if the proposed bill complies with the values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and to remind member states of their responsibility to respect and protect these common values”.

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Rule of law: MEPs met with Council Presidency before Hungary hearing

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 dicembre 2019

Civil Liberties Committee representatives took stock of latest developments and condemned the Council’s failure to ensure Parliament’s formal participation in the process.Key elements from Parliament’s reasoned proposal of 2018 and recent developments on democracy, rule of law and European values in Hungary were discussed during an informal meeting between Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) and Council representatives early on 10 December, in preparation of the General Affairs Council of the same day. Parliament was represented by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens, FR), rapporteur for the EP proposal to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching EU values, and Sophie in’t Veld (Renew, NL), Chair of the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG). The two MEPs praised the efforts of the Finnish Presidency in relation to rule of law issues and welcomed the initiative to meet. However, they reiterated that Parliament, having exercised its right of initiative under Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union, has the right to be heard in a formal meeting of the Council, and its prerogatives as provided by the Treaties should be respected.

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Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs request to be heard by EU ministers

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 aprile 2019

The European Parliament should be represented in a formal Council of Ministers’ meeting discussing Article 7 procedures concerning Hungary, MEPs insist. Following a last-minute invitation by the Romanian Presidency for an informal exchange of views ahead of the General Affairs Council to be held on 9 April, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, and Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL), rapporteur for the EP proposal calling on the Council to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values, said: “We regret not being able to accept this invitation, due to unavailability at such a short notice. While we thank the Romanian Presidency for this invitation, we would remind of President’s Tajani letter in which he called for the Parliament to be invited to outline its position to a full meeting of the General Affairs Council where the Article 7(1) TEU procedure concerning Hungary will be discussed and for which a reply is still outstanding.
As we already mentioned in previous informal meetings held with the Presidency, to which we have participated in respect of the principle of sincere cooperation, in this procedure, European Parliament, having exercised its right of initiative under the concerned Treaty provision, is to be heard in a Council formal sitting.The European Parliament should not be prevented to exercise its full role, as provided by the Treaties. We continue to be convinced that it is essential for the European Parliament to be invited to a formal Council meeting. Such an in-depth exchange of views in a Council meeting is of the highest significance for the rule of law within the EU, and in line with the principle of sincere cooperation between Institutions”.
In September 2018, the Chamber requested the Council to assess whether Hungary is posing a systemic threat to the EU’s founding values. Should they determine that such a threat exists, EU member states could initiate the procedure laid down in Article 7 the EU Treaty, which may eventually lead to sanctions, such as the suspension of the Hungary’s voting rights in the Council. Judicial independence, freedom of expression, corruption, rights of minorities, and the situation of migrants and refugees are the main Parliament’s concerns.

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Council strongly criticised over failing to act to protect EU values in Hungary

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 26 marzo 2019

In the debate with the Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Political and Security Committee Permanent Representative Călin Stoica, on behalf of the Romanian Presidency, most of the Civil Liberties Committee MEPs who joined the debate expressed their frustration with the Council’s lack of willingness to act to protect EU values, or cooperate with Parliament in this direction.They highlighted that Parliament has been raising the situation in Hungary for almost a decade and that urgent action is required to avoid further deterioration of democracy and the rule of law in the country, as well as the proliferation of these practices across EU member states.MEPs regretted that the Council has failed on several occasions to put the proposal by the Parliament to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching EU values on its agenda, or even provide a timetable, despite their repeated public requests. They asked once again that the Council formally include committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) and rapporteur Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL) in relevant conversations of the General Affairs Council meeting, instead of merely providing information in a fragmented, informal manner and only after the MEPs’ persistent efforts.In September 2018, Parliament requested that the Council assess whether Hungary is posing a systemic threat to the EU’s founding values. Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union aims to ensure that all EU countries respect the EU’s common values, including the rule of law. The continuing deterioration of EU values in Hungary, including judicial independence, freedom of expression, corruption, rights of minorities, and the situation of asylum seekers, remain key concerns.

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UK employees to receive among the lowest salary increases in Europe next year

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 novembre 2017

londonLondon. UK professionals expected to receive just 0.2% real-terms salary increase in 2018, up to fifteen times less than European peers Higher inflation to wipe out majority of pay increases In Europe, only employees in Hungary, Portugal and Ukraine are likely to be worse off than those in the UK
Real salary increases in Asia-Pacific to continue to lead the world in 2018, filling eight of the top ten positions in the global rankings According to the latest Salary Trends Report by ECA International (ECA), UK employees in the private sector are expected to see a real salary increase of just 0.2 percent in 2018, the equivalent of approximately £4.41 a month (£53 pa) for the average worker¹ before tax. This keeps the UK at the bottom of the salary increase table in Europe, ranking 23rd out of 26 countries surveyed in the region. The real salary increase is calculated based on the difference between the forecast nominal salary increase (2.8 percent in the UK) and inflation² (2.6 percent). The latest survey also reveals that employees in the UK received a disappointing 0.1 percent real salary increase this year, lower than forecast in 2016 (0.3 percent), due to a jump in inflation caused by sterling’s fall in value.
Real salary growth for UK workers is forecast to remain behind most of their European peers. Only employees in Hungary, Poland and Ukraine are anticipated to have lower real salary increases than those in the UK.Although there are early signs of growth in some major European economies, expected real salary increases still lag behind those of a few years ago. Real wage growth in Germany and France is expected to be less than half the rate of 2015 at 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.Despite the lacklustre predictions for 2018, the average rise across the continent is expected to be 1 percent, and for the first time in five years no European nation is expected to experience a salary decrease. Real-terms pay freezes are pushing Ukraine and Portugal to the bottom of the regional rankings.
Russia is forecast to move to the top of the European rankings in 2018. As its economy stabilises and inflation falls, employees in Russia are set to receive a 3.1 percent real salary increase next year.
After seeing the highest real salary increases in Europe in 2017, inflation is expected to move higher in Romania. This will cause the country to see real pay rises of just 0.7 percent next year, compared to 3.4 percent in 2017, and fall 46 places in the global rankings. Ireland and Hungary face a similar situation, falling 18 and 21 places respectively.
Asia-Pacific countries continue to outperform the rest of the world, occupying eight of the top ten spots in the global rankings with above-inflation salary increases across the board. Despite slower economic growth, China is forecast to rank seventh in the world next year and will maintain its ever-present record in the top ten of ECA’s ranking of global real salary increases. Top spot in the region is taken by India, with a 4.9 percent real salary increase predicted.
India is only beaten to the global top spot by Argentina, which is forecast to receive an impressive 7.2 percent real salary increase in 2018.
In the Americas, average real salary increases are predicted to be 1.6 percent, slightly higher than in 2017 (1.4 percent). Employees in Mexico in particular look set to benefit from lower inflation in 2018 to record a real-terms increase of 0.8 percent compared to a 1.3 percent pay cut in 2017. Uplifts for the USA and Canada are set to remain steady, at 0.9 and 1.1 percent respectively.
Despite both expecting to see 10 percent nominal salary increases next year, Egypt and Nigeria find themselves at the bottom of the global rankings thanks to high inflation, which will likely far outweigh pay rises and cause real decreases of 11.2 and 4.8 percent respectively. Lower inflation in Ghana will help the country to leap 51 places globally and top the regional rankings for Africa and Middle East, where with employees are predicted to enjoy a 4.7 percent real pay hike.The imminent introduction of VAT in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council has raised inflation forecasts. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are particularly affected with both anticipated to experience real salary decreases as a result, dropping from among the highest ranked nations in the region in 2017 to the lowest in 2018.

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MEPs discuss situation in Hungary with Prime Minister Orbán

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 aprile 2017

ungheria-budapest-2Political group leaders and MEPs gave their views on Hungary’s new education law, perceived as targeting the Central European University, the tightening of rules for NGOs and asylum seekers and a government survey entitled “National Consultation – Let’s stop Brussels!”.Many MEPs took the view that the new education law is an attack on academic freedom and NGOs are being targeted to suppress critical voices.
Some pointed out that the EU has been passively witnessing a systematic erosion of democracy in Hungary and called for tougher measures. Others defended the Hungarian government’s moves by arguing that civil society needs rules and member states have the right to regulate education. Hungary is attacked for not signing up for open borders and a multicultural ideology, they added.EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said that its legal analysis of the new education law had confirmed its incompatibility with the EU law and announced the launch of an infringement procedure. He criticised the Hungarian government survey for making “false allegations” about the EU’s intentions.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that accusations that his government wanted to close the CEU were false and described the national consultation as a democratic tool. The law on NGOs follows a US example, he added. “We would like to reform the EU, but Hungary is unquestionably committed to Europe”, he said.

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Fundamental rights in Hungary discussed in Civil Liberties Committee

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 marzo 2017

ungheriaCivil Liberties Committee MEPs discussed the fundamental rights situation in Hungary with Justice Minister László Trócsányi and civil society representatives on Monday afternoon. Several MEPs raised the issue of refugees and migrants, asking for clarifications on a draft law proposing that any asylum-seeker be automatically detained for the entire duration of their application.Some members asked about the independence of the Constitutional Court and media pluralism, while others demanded answers on a government plan to force non-government organisation (NGO) leaders to declare their personal assets in the same way as MPs do.MEPs also put questions on measures to relieve the overcrowding of prisons and on the situation of women in the context of the Istanbul Convention, which Hungary is expected to ratify soon. The government of Hungary was represented by Justice Minister László Trócsányi. Civil society speakers were: Miklós Szánthó Director, Center for Fundamental Rights; Tódor Gárdos, Researcher, Amnesty lnternational; Stefánia Kapronczay, Executive Director, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and Márta Pardavi, Co-Chair, Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

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Hungary: MEPs call for threats to the rule of law to be monitored

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 dicembre 2015

hungaryThe EU should start immediately to monitor threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, says Parliament in a resolution voted on Wednesday. The EU Commission should assess whether the combined effect of government measures there has led to a “systemic deterioration”, which, if the Commission fails to address it, could trigger similar developments in other member states too, it adds.The resolution, passed by 327 votes to 293, with 61 abstentions, reiterates Parliament’s call on the Commission “to initiate immediately an in-depth monitoring process concerning the situation of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary”, as part of the “rule of law framework”, a Commission tool designed to tackle emerging systemic threats to the rule of law in an EU member state.
The resolution criticises the Commission’s assessment of developments in Hungary, presented in a debate on 2 December, as focusing “mainly on marginal, technical aspects of the legislation, while ignoring the trends, patterns and combined effect of measures (..).”Recent Hungarian government measures have “rendered access to international protection extremely difficult”. The rules “unjustifiably criminalised refugees, migrants and asylum seekers”, and the government uses “xenophobic rhetoric linking migrants to social problems or security risks”, observes the text.MEPs note that these latest measures come on top of earlier steps that contribute to “a systemic deterioration in the rule of law and fundamental rights”, including:
· the freedom of expression, including academic freedom,
· human rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees,
· restrictions and obstructions to the activities of civil society organisations,
· rights of people belonging to minorities, including Roma, Jews and LGBTI,
· the functioning of the constitutional system,
· the independence of the judiciary, and
· many worrying allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest.
Parliament warns that the EU’s failure to act against Hungary so far may be prompting the emergence of similar developments in other member states.

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MEPs debate the situation in Hungary, fundamental rights and EU values

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 Maggio 2015

hungaryThe situation in Hungary, following Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s remarks on the possibility of reinstating the death penalty there and the government’s public “consultation” on immigration, were debated by MEPs, Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Latvian State Secretary for European Affairs Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica for the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers and Mr Orbán himself on Tuesday afternoon.European Parliament President Martin Schulz opened the debate and welcomed Mr Orbán before passing the floor to the Latvian Presidency of the Council.Speaking for the Council Presidency, Latvian State Secretary for European Affairs Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica reiterated that “the European Union is not just an economic and political union”, but also a “union of shared fundamental values”. She welcomed Parliament’s concern for the “preservation of democratic values”, but as the Council had not discussed the situation in Hungary, she was “not in a position to comment”, she said.Commission Vice-President for fundamental rights Frans Timmermans pointed out that reinstating the death penalty would be contrary to EU fundamental values and could trigger EU Treaty Article 7, which foresees the possibility of depriving a member state of its voting rights in the Council.However, Hungary does not have “concrete plans” to reinstate the death penalty, he said, adding that if it were to take steps to do so, then the Commission “would not hesitate to act”.As to the public consultation on migration, “framing it in the context of terrorism is malicious and wrong” and will feed prejudice, Mr Timmermans said.

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Racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism: Learning from experiences in Greece and Hungary

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 dicembre 2013

Anti-Racist Action banner from Art Against Racism

Anti-Racist Action banner from Art Against Racism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Racism, discrimination, extremism and intolerance currently pose a great challenge for the European Union. In a new report, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights examines the responses of two Member States, taking these countries as case studies to demonstrate the need for more targeted and effective measures to combat these phenomena throughout the EU. The report ends by proposing a number of steps to improve the situation.Today’s publication, a thematic situation report, also addresses a phenomenon currently unique to Greece and Hungary. This is the significant parliamentary presence of political parties standing for and promoting an extremist ideology that particularly targets irregular migrants (in Greece) and the Roma and Jews (in Hungary), and which are either themselves or have links to paramilitary organisations committing racially motivated acts of violence. The EU and its Member States already have strong legislation in place to fight racism, intolerance and extremism. However, greater efforts are needed to ensure effective implementation. In addition, more needs to be done, particularly at local level, to foster social cohesion and increase trust in the police and other law enforcement authorities.The overall aim of this report is to provide a better understanding of the barriers to combating racism and intolerance, and fulfilling fundamental rights throughout the EU. The proposals contained in the final section of the report are therefore relevant for all Member States when developing their own strategies for combating racist discrimination and violence, as well as the emergence of extremist ideologies on the political scene.

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Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 novembre 2013

Deutsch: Technische Universität München, Fakul...

Deutsch: Technische Universität München, Fakultät Maschinenwesen, Garching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entrepreneurship continues to enjoy a high reputation worldwide. However, many people don’t put their plans into action. These are the main findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2013 published by Amway and the Technische Universität München (TUM). On average, more than two-thirds (70%) of the population in 24 countries have a positive attitude towards self-employment. 39% of the respondents can imagine starting their own business. A big obstacle is fear of failure: 70% of the respondents feel threatened by it. On the other hand, measures like public funding, start-up loans and entrepreneurship education are encouraging people in their decision to start-up an enterprise.
The Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2013 surveyed more than 26,000 women and men in 24 countries worldwide. This year again, the Danish (89%) keep heading the ranking of polled countries, when it comes to positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Second and third place go to newly added countries: Finland with 87%, and Australia follows with 84%. Like last year, respondents in Austria (40%), Hungary (40%), Portugal (39%), and Germany (37%) show the most negative attitude.The average self-employment potential in the countries surveyed worldwide is at 39%, that is individuals who can imagine to start up their own business. It is highest in Colombia (63%), Mexico (56%), and Greece (53%), with Greece remaining the European country with great entrepreneurial will (2012: 50%). Once more decreasing, with 26% possibly starting their own business, Germany is on next-to-last place, with only Japan following (17%).To implement above named potential, political decision makers need to help potential entrepreneurs putting their ideas into action. The number of people confirming to already be self-employed is relatively low. This could be due to the high fear of failure, hindering entrepreneurship (70%). Particularly in countries that have a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, but cannot imagine starting a business, fear of failure displays a severe obstacle. Especially respondents in Japan (94%), Italy and Czech Republic (each 91%) are frightened of failing with an enterprise. On the contrary, the U.S. (62%), the Netherlands (55%), and Mexico (50%) show high percentages on not being afraid of failing. This fear to fail is composed by different factors, such as “financial burdens up to bankruptcy” (41%) and the “threat of the economic crisis” (31%).“Entrepreneurship represents a necessary component of our society. Without doubt, potential entrepreneurs seek to realize their ideas and visions – but there are a number of anxieties that hinder the foundation of businesses. These fears need to be eliminated to enable more people to start up their own companies,” explains Prof. Isabell M. Welpe, Chair for Strategy and Organization, Technische Universität München (TUM).
Given that, encouraging factors to the foundation of business, such as “public funding and start-up loans” (42%), “entrepreneurship education and teaching of business skills” (33%) and “mentoring, support through business networks” (27%) have to be implemented. Furthermore, countries that show a high fear to fail, also long for “low-risk business models”. In Germany (34%), Italy (29%), Hungary, Turkey, and Ukraine (each 26%) it is under the top three factors that encourage entrepreneurship.

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Hungary must abide by EU values, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 4 luglio 2013

The Hungarian authorities must remedy any breaches of key EU values swiftly, said MEPs on Wednesday. If they fail to do so Parliament’s leaders should consider asking the Council of the EU to determine, under EU Treaty Article 7.1, whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach, MEPs say. They also want a high-level group to monitor compliance with the EU’s values in all member states.In the resolution, adopted by 370 votes to 249, with 82 abstentions, Parliament stresses that the EU is founded on key values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, as enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty.“Constitutional changes in Hungary have been systemic and they have a general trend that moves away from EU values enshrined in EU Treaty Article 2″, said rapporteur Rui Tavares (Greens/EFA, PT) in the debate on Tuesday. “Democracy is about the rule of the majority, but not about majoritarianism”, he added.Parliament regrets that the process of drafting and adopting Hungary’s constitution “lacked the transparency, openness, inclusiveness and, ultimately, the consensual basis that could be expected in a modern democratic constituent process” and deplores the fact that the institutional changes “resulted in a clear weakening of the system of checks and balances”.Parliament urges the Hungarian authorities to remove from the constitution those provisions already declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, to reduce the recurrent use of cardinal laws, to apply the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, to ensure the widest possible participation of all parties in the constitutional process and to fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary.On media laws, Parliament asks Hungary to set up objective, legally binding procedures for the appointment of heads of public media and regulatory bodies. MEPs also call on the Hungarian authorities to “finally assume their responsibilities towards the homeless”, adopt a broader definition of “family” and do more to integrate Roma communities.

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L’Ungheria deve rispettare i valori dell’Unione europea

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 4 luglio 2013

Le autorità ungheresi devono rapidamente porre rimedio alle violazioni dei valori fondamentali dell’UE, hanno dichiarato mercoledì i deputati. Nel caso non lo facessero, i deputati potrebbero chiedere al Consiglio dell’UE di determinare, ai sensi dell’articolo 7.1 del Trattato UE, se esiste un evidente rischio di violazione grave. I deputati chiedono inoltre la creazione di un gruppo ad alto livello per verificare il rispetto dei valori dell’UE in tutti gli Stati membri.Nella risoluzione, adottata con 370 voti favorevoli, 249 voti contrari e 82 astensioni, il Parlamento sottolinea che l’Unione europea si basa su valori
fondamentali, quali il rispetto della dignità umana, della libertà, della democrazia, dell’uguaglianza e dello Stato di diritto, come sancito dall’articolo 2 della Trattato UE.”Le modifiche costituzionali in Ungheria sono sistemiche e, in generale, si allontanano dai valori europei sanciti dall’articolo 2 del trattato UE”, ha dichiarato il relatore Rui Tavares (Verdi/ALE, PT) nel dibattito di martedì. “Democrazia significa maggioranza, ma non maggioritarismo”, ha aggiunto.Il Parlamento si rammarica che il processo di elaborazione e adozione della Costituzione ungherese manchi di “trasparenza, apertura, inclusività e, in ultima analisi, della base consensuale che ci si poteva attendere in un processo costituente democratico e moderno” e deplora che i cambiamenti istituzionali “abbiano determinato un evidente indebolimento dei sistemi di equilibri istituzionali”.Il Parlamento esorta le autorità ungheresi a eliminare dalla Costituzione le disposizioni già dichiarate incostituzionali dalla Corte costituzionale, e limitare il frequente ricorso alle leggi cardinali. Chiede inoltre che siano applicate le raccomandazioni della Commissione di Venezia in Europa, al fine di garantire la più ampia partecipazione possibile di tutti i soggetti nel processo costituzionale e la piena indipendenza del potere giudiziario.Per quanto attiene poi la legislazione sui media, il Parlamento chiede che l’Ungheria ponga in essere procedure e meccanismi giuridicamente vincolanti per la nomina dei dirigenti dei mezzi d’informazione pubblici e degli organismi di regolamentazione. I deputati chiedono, inoltre, alle autorità ungheresi di “assumere finalmente le
proprie responsabilità nei confronti dei senzatetto” adottando una definizione più ampia di “famiglia” e di adoperasi maggiormente per l’integrazione delle comunità rom.La risoluzione chiede alla Conferenza dei presidenti del Parlamento (il Presidente più i leader dei gruppi politici) di “valutare l’opportunità di ricorrere ai meccanismi previsti dal trattato, anche in relazione all’articolo 7, paragrafo 1”, nel casoin cui le risposte delle autorità ungheresi risultassero “non conformi” ai valori europei. L’articolo 7.1 del Trattato consentirebbe al Consiglio dei ministri dell’UE di determinare se esiste un evidente rischio di violazione grave dei valori dell’UE.Per evitare violazioni ai valori dell’Unione europea in futuro, i deputati chiedono un “meccanismo di Copenhagen” da istituire per garantire il rispetto dei valori comuni dell’Unione europea e la continuità con i criteri di pre-adesione. Nel testo si afferma che questo meccanismo, che potrebbe assumere la forma di
una “Commissione di Copenaghen” o di un gruppo ad alto livello, sarebbe indipendente da influenze politiche ed eviterebbe qualsiasi rischio di utilizzazione di due pesi e due misure.

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Hungary: MEPs hear from civil society, media and the government

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 febbraio 2012

Democracy, freedom and the rule of law in Hungary were the focus of a Civil Liberties Committee hearing on Thursday with representatives of the Hungarian media, civil society and government. Some MEPs called for a “fundamental rights check” to on whether there is a risk of a serious breach of EU values, while others suggested awaiting the outcome of the European Commission’s dialogue with the Hungarian government.”I continue to have grave concerns about the current situation in Hungary. And these concerns are based on facts, not myths!”, said Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. She stressed that media freedom matters, not just because it is a fundamental right, but also “because private investors and international institutions need to know they have full access to independent media analysis”, and “the Hungarian authorities should be careful not to give them any other impression”.
Ms Kroes said that the Commission expects two things from the Hungarian government: “First, they should explicitly and transparently ask the Council of Europe for a comprehensive opinion on the compliance of the media legislation (…) with fundamental values. Second, they should accept and implement any concrete recommendations that are made by the Council of Europe”. She asked Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Public Administration and Justice Tibor Navracsics, whether the Hungarian authorities were willing to do this.
“The Hungarian Government is firmly committed to working with EU institutions”, Mr Navracsics replied. “We are fully committed to democracy and the rule of law”, he stressed, citing the fact that “the Constitutional Court ruled that the media law was not in line with the Constitution and we duly changed it. That is because we have a system of checks and balances”.
Asked again by Ms Kroes whether the Hungarian authorities would act on the Council of Europe opinion, Mr Navracsics replied that “we will take the Council of Europe opinion into account”. However, “the Council of Europe cannot impose anything that goes against our Constitution”, he added. “That is different to what you said in my office”, replied Ms Kroes.

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Hungary: it’s time to act and abide by EU rules and values

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 21 gennaio 2012

José Manuel Barroso

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Concerns about the fate of democracy, freedom and the rule of law in Hungary were voiced by many MEPs in a heated debate with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Commission President José Manuel Barroso on Wednesday. The decision to start legal action against Hungary over the compatibility of its new laws with EU rules was welcomed by a majority, but some MEPs felt that this did not go far enough, and called for a “fundamental rights check”.”Let me be absolutely clear: all Member States must comply with the rules of the Treaty. This goes for Hungary as it goes for any other Member State”, said Danish Minister for European Affairs, Nicolai Wammen, speaking on behalf of the Council.The Danish presidency supports the Commission’s role as guardian of the treaties and welcomes its legal assessment, the minister said. “This is the basis on which the next steps should be taken” and “we expect Hungary to comply with EU treaties and laws”, he concluded. Mr Orbán thanked Parliament, as the “home and heart of democracy”, for enabling him to report first-hand on Hungary’s experience. In 2010, Hungary had been “on the brink of economic collapse” he said, with many people living off state funds and paramilitary groups taking to the streets. Wholesale reforms, in line with EU values and principles, were urgently needed to reduce public debt, get the paramilitaries off the streets, and protect all minorities, he said, citing structural reforms in local government, the judiciary, education and health care, pensions and welfare. The sheer scope of these reforms meant they were bound to give rise to debate. However, the issues raised by the Commission had nothing to do with constitution as such, but merely with transitional provisions, which should be relatively straightforward to rectify, he said, urging MEPs to “please support transition and transformation” in Hungary.
Hungarian citizens elected Mr Orbán by a large majority in 2010 “with a clear mandate: cut ties with all the political trends from the past and reform the country”, the last Eastern European country to have kept “a Stalinist constitution”, said Joseph Daul (EPP, FR). Although the new laws were adopted by an elected parliament, there are, however, concerns as to their compatibility with EU law, he continued.

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Churches Meet the Hungarian EU Presidency

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 22 gennaio 2011

As part of the series of regular encounters between churches and the incoming EU Presidencies, a delegation of Hungarian and European church representatives was received by the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán in Budapest. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén and the Secretaries of State Mihály Varga, Peter Szíjjárto, Zoltán Balog and László Szászfalvi as well as by several advisers.Prime Minister Orbán responded to the churches´ concerns and welcomed their active engagement with the Hungarian government during the forthcoming 6 months and beyond. He asked the churches for their support in bringing all European governments and societies to recognise that the integration of Roma communities should be a European, and not just a national commitment of some European governments. It will only be possible to improve the living conditions of Roma throughout Europe, if all European governments cooperate. Identification of best practices is a priority for the Hungarian EU Presidency, to which the churches with their experience and well- established relationships with Roma communities have much to contribute.
As one of the priorities of the Hungarian EU Presidency is to bring Europe closer to its citizens, the church representatives emphasised the involvement of civil society at large, as well as of religious communities in particular in the decision-making process on the European level. Prime Minister Orbán in his response acknowledged the difficulties of the European Institutions to get closer to the citizens. He encouraged the churches to maintain their important role as bridge builders, as churches are organised on the local, national and regional level and could, therefore, bring the “voice of the people” to the Institutions.
The churches´ delegation for the meeting with the Prime Minister reflected the plurality of churches in the Hungarian context. Under the leadership of Péter Cardinal Erdö (Roman Catholic), Bishop Dr Gusztáv Bölcskei (Reformed) and the Ecumenical Council in Hungary, the delegation included representatives from the Roman Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist and Orthodox Churches in Hungary. Due to the  specific tradition in Hungary, the delegation also included representatives from the Jewish community. The European church bodies were represented by Director Rev Rüdiger Noll of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the General Secretary of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences in the European Community (COMECE), Fr Dr Piotr Mazurkiewicz.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant, and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, and of 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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