Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs to meet government, NGOs, and opposition

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


A delegation of MEPs is travelling to Hungary to assess the respect for press and academic freedom, the rights of minorities and the wider rule of law context.

During their three-day visit to Budapest (Wednesday 29 September-Friday 1 October), MEPs are scheduled to meet Hungarian Minister for Justice Judith Varga, and Interior Minister Sándor Pintér. They also plan to talk to the Mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, with members of the Hungarian Parliament from different political groups and with representatives of the political opposition.

The EP delegation will hear from civil society organisations working in the field of the protection of the rule of law, equal treatment, and minority and social rights. They will also meet journalists and representatives of outlets covering the whole media spectrum, as well as representatives from organisations working to defend press freedom.

The agenda also foresees meetings in the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court, the National Judicial Office and Council and with the association representing judges. Finally, MEPs will meet the Hungarian Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, representatives of academia and the education system, and of several cultural institutions.

You can check the agenda.

Members of the delegation

The following members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs are taking part in the mission:

A press conference will take place on Friday at 15.00, at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Budapest. You can follow it here.

For media queries, you may contact Eszter Balazs, EP press officer traveling with the delegation, at eszter.balazs@europarl.europa.eu or +32 470 88 08 77.

Background

In September 2018, the European Parliament asked EU member states to determine, in accordance with Treaty Article 7, whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values. According to MEPs, the situation has deteriorated further in the years since. In July 2021, the plenary adopted a new resolution criticising Hungarian anti-LGBTIQ legislation and denouncing the dismantling of democracy and the rule of law in the country.

In its 2021 Rule of Law report, the European Commission highlighted the worsening situation in the country. It noted, among other issues, that the risk to media pluralism, and the pressure faced by civil society organisations critical of the government. For the Commission, the transparency and quality of the Hungarian legislative process also remains a source of concern.

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