Ref. :  000041236
Date :  2017-05-17
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

European Parliament resolution of 17 May 2017 on the situation in Hungary


The European Parliament,

– having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 2, 6 and 7 thereof,

– having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 4, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18 and 21 thereof,

– having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, in particular cases Szabó and Vissy v. Hungary , Karácsony and Others v. Hungary , Magyar Keresztény Mennonita Egyház and Others v. Hungary , Baka v. Hungary, and Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary ,

– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the numerous United Nations human rights treaties which are binding on all the Member States,

– having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2014 entitled ‘A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law’ (COM(2014)0158),

– having regard to its resolutions of 16 December(1) and 10 June 2015(2) on the situation in Hungary, of 3 July 2013 on the situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary(3) , of 16 February 2012 on the recent political developments in Hungary(4) and of 10 March 2011 on media law in Hungary(5) ,

– having regard to the hearing on the situation in Hungary held on 27 February 2017 by its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs,

– having regard to the plenary debate on the situation in Hungary of 26 April 2017,

– having regard to the Rome Declaration of the leaders of 27 Member States and of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission of 25 March 2017,

– having regard to Act CLXVIII of 2007 on the promulgation of the Lisbon Treaty amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community adopted by the Hungarian National Assembly on 17 December 2007,

– having regard to Resolution 2162 (2017) of 27 April 2017 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe entitled ‘Alarming developments in Hungary: draft NGO law restricting civil society and possible closure of the European Central University’,

– having regard to the statement by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights of 8 March 2017 on Hungary’s new law allowing automatic detention of asylum seekers, and his letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary of 27 April 2017 with a call to reject the proposed draft law on foreign-funded NGOs,

– having regard to the Commission’s decision to open infringement proceedings against Hungary concerning the act amending the National Higher Education Act, as well as other pending and forthcoming infringement procedures against Hungary,

– having regard to the Commission response to the Hungarian National Consultation ‘Stop Brussels’,

– having regard to the visit of Commissioner Avramopoulos to Hungary on 28 March 2017,

– having regard to the letter of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to Vice-President Timmermans requesting the Commission’s opinion on the compliance of the act amending certain acts related to strengthening the procedure conducted in the guarded border area with the provisions of the Union asylum acquis , and as regards the Charter of Fundamental Rights when implementing the measures mentioned in this act,

– having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of people belonging to minorities, and whereas these values are universal and common to the Member States (Article 2 of the TEU);

B. whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is part of EU primary law that prohibits discrimination based on any grounds such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation;

C. whereas Hungary has been a Member State of the European Union since 2004, and whereas, according to opinion polls, a large majority of Hungarian citizens are in favour of the country’s EU membership;

D. whereas the Charter provides that the arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint and that academic freedom shall be respected; whereas it also guarantees the freedom to found educational establishments with due respect for democratic principles;

E. whereas the freedom of association should be protected, and whereas a vibrant civil society sector plays a vital role in promoting public participation in the democratic process and the accountability of governments towards their legal obligations, including the protection of fundamental rights, the environment and anti-corruption;

F. whereas the right to asylum is guaranteed, with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol thereto of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees, and in accordance with the TEU and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);

G. whereas 91,54 % of asylum applications in 2016 were rejected; whereas since 2015 new laws and procedures adopted in Hungary in the field of asylum have forced all asylum seekers to enter Hungary through a transit zone on Hungarian territory that allows access to a limited number of people per day, e.g. 10 at the moment; whereas NGOs have repeatedly reported that migrants at Hungary’s borders are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection; whereas the Hungarian Government has failed to fulfil its obligations to relocate asylum seekers in accordance with EU law;

H. whereas the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe has declared that ‘due to sweeping changes introduced in Hungary in asylum law and practice over recent months, asylum seekers returned there run a considerable risk of being subject to human rights violations’ in relation to the written observations he submitted on 17 December 2016 to the European Court of Human Rights regarding two complaints against Austria concerning the transfer of applicants from Austria to Hungary under the Dublin III Regulation;

I. whereas 11 refugees, referred to as the ‘Röszke 11’, present on 16 September 2016, the day after Hungary closed its border with Serbia, have been charged with committing an act of terror and sentenced to prison, including Ahmed H., a Syrian resident in Cyprus sentenced to 10 years in prison in an unfair trial in November 2016 on the sole grounds of using a megaphone to ease tensions and of throwing three objects at the border police;

J. whereas since the adoption of its resolution of 16 December 2015, concerns have been raised about a number of issues, namely the use of public spending, attacks against civil society organisations and human rights defenders, the rights of asylum seekers, mass surveillance of citizens, freedom of association, freedom of expression, media pluralism and the closure of the newspaper Népszabadság, Roma rights, including the eviction of Roma in Miskolc and segregation of Roma children in education, LGBTI rights, women’s rights, the judiciary system, including the possibility to hand down a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, the forced eviction of Hungarian NGOs Roma Parliament and Phralipe Independent Gypsy Organisation from their headquarters, and the risk of closure of the Lukács Archives;

K. whereas the content and the language used in the national consultation ‘Stop Brussels’ – a national consultation on immigration and terrorism and the accompanying advertising campaigns by the government – are highly misleading and biased;

L. whereas in the case of Szabó and Vissy v. Hungary the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Hungarian legislation on secret anti-terrorist surveillance introduced in 2011 had been a violation of the right to respect for private and family life, the home and correspondence; whereas in the case of Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary the Court found a violation of the right to liberty and security, the right to have an effective remedy concerning the conditions in the Röszke transit zone and the right to be protected from inhuman or degrading treatment as regards the applicants’ expulsion to Serbia; whereas in the case of Baka v. Hungary the Court ruled that Hungary had violated the right to a fair trial and the freedom of expression of András Baka, the former President of the Hungarian Supreme Court;

M. whereas the most recent developments in Hungary, namely the act amending certain acts related to increasing the strictness of procedures carried out in the areas of border management and asylum, the act amending the National Higher Education Act, which poses a direct threat to the Central European University and which has triggered large public disapproval, and the proposed Act on the Transparency of Organisations Receiving Support from Abroad (Hungarian Parliament Bill T/14967) have given rise to concerns regarding their compatibility with EU law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

1. Recalls that the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU must be upheld by all EU Member States;

2. Regrets that the developments in Hungary have led to a serious deterioration of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights over the past few years, inter alia, freedom of expression, academic freedom, the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, freedom of assembly and association, restrictions and obstructions to the activities of civil society organisations, the right to equal treatment, the rights of people belonging to minorities, including Roma, Jews and LGBTI people, social rights, the functioning of the constitutional system, the independence of the judiciary and of other institutions and many worrying allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest, which, taken together, could represent an emerging systemic threat to the rule of law in this Member State; believes that Hungary is a test for the EU to prove its capacity and willingness to react to threats and breaches of its own founding values by a Member State; notes with concern that developments in some other Member States show worrying signs of similar undermining of the rule of law as in Hungary;

3. Calls on the Hungarian Government to engage in a dialogue with the Commission on all issues mentioned in this resolution, in particular the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, freedom of association, freedom of education and academic research, segregation of Roma in education, and protection of pregnant women in work; reiterates that both sides should engage in such a dialogue in an impartial, evidence-based and cooperative way; calls on the Commission to keep Parliament informed of its assessments;

4. Expresses its concerns at the latest declarations and initiatives by the Hungarian Government, in particular as regards maintaining the ‘Stop Brussels’ consultation campaign and the investigative measures targeting foreign employees of the Central European University, as well as the statements by the leaders of the ruling party opposing any legislative change addressing the recommendations made by EU institutions and international organisations; regrets that such signals do not demonstrate a clear commitment by the Hungarian authorities to fully ensuring that its actions comply with EU primary and secondary law;

5. Calls on the Commission to strictly monitor the use of EU funds by the Hungarian Government, in particular in the fields of asylum and migration, public communication, education, social inclusion, and economic development, so as to ensure that any co-financed project is fully compliant with both EU primary and secondary law;

6. Calls on the Hungarian Government in the meantime to repeal the act amending certain acts related to increasing the strictness of procedures carried out in the areas of border management and asylum and the act amending the National Higher Education Act, and to withdraw the proposed Act on the Transparency of Organisations Receiving Support from Abroad (Hungarian Parliament Bill T/14967);

7. Urges the Hungarian Government to immediately suspend all deadlines in the act amending the National Higher Education Act, to start immediate dialogue with the relevant US authorities in order to guarantee the future operations of the Central European University issuing US-accredited degrees, and to make a public commitment that the university can remain in Budapest as a free institution;

8. Regrets that the Commission did not respond to Parliament’s call to activate its EU framework to strengthen the rule of law, as contained in its resolutions of 10 June 2015 and 16 December 2015 on the situation in Hungary, in order to prevent, through a dialogue with the Member State concerned, an emerging systemic threat to the rule of law from escalating further; takes the view that the current approach taken by the Commission focuses mainly on marginal, technical aspects of the legislation while ignoring the trends, patterns and combined effect of measures on the rule of law and fundamental rights; believes that infringement proceedings, in particular, have failed in most cases to lead to real changes and to address the situation more broadly;

9. Believes that the current situation in Hungary represents a clear risk of a serious breach of the values referred to in Article 2 of the TEU and warrants the launch of the Article 7(1) TEU procedure;

10. Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs therefore to initiate the proceedings and draw up a specific report with a view to holding a plenary vote on a reasoned proposal calling on the Council to act pursuant to Article 7(1) of the TEU, in accordance with Rule 83 of its Rules of Procedure;

11. Reiterates the need for a regular process of monitoring and dialogue involving all Member States in order to safeguard the EU’s fundamental values of democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law, involving the Council, the Commission and Parliament, as put forward in its resolution of 25 October 2016 on the establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights(6) (DRF Pact) and also to avoid double standards;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Council, to the President, Government and Parliament of Hungary, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Council of Europe.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0461.
(2) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 46.
(3) OJ C 75, 26.2.2016, p. 52.
(4) OJ C 249 E, 30.8.2013, p. 27.
(5) OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 154.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0409.


Countries : 

Rate this content
 
 
 
Same author:
 flecheConflict minerals: the bloody truth behind your smartphone
 flecheGender balance: five areas for improvement
 flecheRobots and artificial intelligence: MEPs call for EU-wide liability rules
 flecheTerrorism: members to vote on new measures against foreign fighters
 flecheVAT reform: how MEPs intend to tackle the €50 billion a year fraud
 flecheAfter CETA: the EU trade agreements that are in the pipeline
 flecheRussia is no longer a strategic partner of the EU, say MEPs
 flecheParliament urges EU member states to gear up for new security challenges now
 flecheAn ocean of plastic to eradicate
 flecheEP this week: €315 billion investment plan, robots and consumer safety
 flecheArmenian genocide centenary: MEPs urge Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations
 flecheAlbania and Bosnia & Herzegovina: political commitment is key to path towards EU
 flecheEU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation”
 flecheInter-religious dialogue: the way to defeat extremism
 flechePassenger Name Record and data protection talks should go hand in hand, MEPs say
 flecheEuropean Parliament backs EU-Moldova association deal
 flecheEnvironment Committee backs flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops
 flecheAnother record-breaking year for Erasmus
 flecheThe EU's energy dependence: facts and figures
 flecheMEPs urge EU to help 5.3 million young people find decent jobs
 flecheEuropean Parliament gives go-ahead for Lithuania to join the euro
 flecheMartin Schulz re-elected President of the European Parliament
 flecheParliament starts its new term with seven political groups
 flecheElection of new EP President, 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors
 flecheConference of Presidents: the backbone of the European Parliament
 flecheData Protection: The dangers of the web
 flecheLithuania: how the euro could be gaining currency
 flecheEP committees: at the heart of European politics
 flecheResults of the 2014 European elections
 flecheForsmark: how Sweden alerted the world about the danger of the Chernobyl disaster
 fleche2014 European elections: latest projections of seats in the Parliament
 flecheOverview of Parliament and the 2014 elections
 flecheNet neutrality: Industry MEPs want stricter rules against blocking rival services
 flecheParliament maintains €3.5 billion in aid for the most deprived from 2014 to 2020
 flecheMigrants: MEPs endorse search and rescue rules to prevent further deaths at sea
 flecheThe Troika: How Europe's bailout power broker works
 flecheCentral African Republic: How can the EU help?
 flecheReport on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
 flechePublic health MEPs to vote on final deal for tobacco products
 flecheCO2 emissions: cleaner vans by 2020
 flecheEU's long-term budget: how it all adds up
 flecheAung San Suu Kyi receives Sakharov Prize awarded in 1990
 flecheEU-China: the trade partnership worth €1 billion a day
 flecheMalala Yousafzai - winner of the Sakharov Prize 2013
 flecheEmployment MEPs approve plans to help more young people to work or training
 flecheEU drugs report: vigilance needed to tackle fast moving markets
 flecheAgriculture committee calls for EU-wide action to save bees
 flecheDid the WikiLeaks incidents create more or less democracy in the world?
 flecheCulture MEPs call on EU for more European online conversation
 flecheDevelopment aid: strong EU commitment needed to get MDGs back on track
 flecheLes films en 3D à l'épreuve de la saison d'été du cinéma américain
 flecheAnnée européenne du volontariat
 flecheMEPs mull over merits of an EU tax on financial transactions
 flecheGlobal warming: less meat = less heat
 flecheMore EU support for volunteering
 flecheG20: avoid placing too big a burden on future generations
 flecheExtending the scope of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to respond to the crisis
 flecheUN's business and human rights envoy John Ruggie interviewed
 flecheSecurity and fundamental freedoms on the Internet
 flecheWater – 71% of the Earth's surface, but still scarce
 fleche"People like to participate in politics....on their computers!"
 flecheAmid economic crisis, roundtable debates 10 years of the euro
 flecheHuman rights remain key to EU-China trade relations
 flecheMEPs' diagnosis on economy ahead of Washington G20
 flecheMEPs and MPs debate CAP's future and world food security role
 flecheMEPs back new Erasmus Mundus Programme for student mobility and university exchanges
 flecheEurope struggles to influence UN human rights agenda
 flecheFuture of European cohesion policy debated with regions and cities
 flecheMember States to fulfil their ODA volumes, warn MEPs
 flecheImmigration: MEPs and national MPs reject "fortress Europe"
 flecheCan EU funds be put to use to help food crisis?
 flecheSarkozy to the European Parliament: "Europe can not be condemned to inaction"

 fleche1968-2008: 4 decades of customs union
 flecheErasmus Mundus: "be curious and don't hesitate"
 flecheAsma Jahangir : « Donner la parole à l’immense majorité qui veut vivre dans la diversité »
 flecheTrade in raw materials and commodities- MEPs concerned about supply
 flecheParliament and climate change: Carbon Capture and Storage
 flecheEuropean Parliament calls for more transparency on lobbying
 flecheUN advisor Professor Jeffrey Sachs on soaring food prices
 flecheInternational agreement cannot wait, warn climate change MEPs in Washington
 flecheMEPs to debate calls for more open WTO Wednesday
 flecheMEPs call for sharper focus on jobs and growth potential of cultural industries
 flecheBurma: EU needs "coherent strategy" ahead of military's poll
 flecheHearing told of high levels of child poverty in Europe
 flecheEuropean Parliament at 50 - images from half a century
 flecheWill Europe take in Guantánamo Bay prisoners?
 flecheLiverpool and Stavanger – European Capitals of Culture 2008
 flecheSuper Tuesday in America: can Europe learn lessons?
 flecheAre your details caught in the World Wide Web?
 flecheGrand Mufti of Syria: a single civilisation unites us all
 flecheIs immigration the cure for a declining working population?
 fleche2007 Sakharov winner Salih Mahmoud Osman warns of "atmosphere on impunity" in Darfur - Interview
 flecheEuropean Parliament approves the Charter of Fundamental Rights and urges UK and Poland to apply it
 flecheACP-EU: workshop looks at "Justice on the grass" Rwanda's victims
 flecheGlobalisation: MEPs debate the challenges and opportunities
 flecheChina committed to fighting climate change, but not yet to quantitative targets, says EP delegation
 flecheSeat distribution up for discussion in Parliament
 flecheHow different are parliamentarians from either side of the Atlantic?
 flecheEU regional policy stakeholders debate global economic challenges
 flecheEuromed Assembly in Tunis focuses on intercultural dialogue
 flecheEuropean Year of Intercultural Dialogue should focus on religion
 flecheEurope's cultural heritage only a click away?
 flecheParliament adopts priorities on legal and illegal immigration policies
 flecheHighlights: MEPs to discuss energy, immigration, rail, toys in 2nd September Plenary
 flecheEnvironment MEPs back compulsory CO2 cap on cars
 flecheNatural disasters, EU solidarity fund needed without delay and European reaction force
 flecheAs Erasmus turns 20 some MEPs share their memories
 flecheEurope's cultural heritage only a click away?
 flecheBrazil's President Lula on trade, agriculture, poverty and biofuels
 flechePortugal's EU Presidency: MEPs on their expectations
 flecheLes attentes du monde arabe à l’égard de l’Union européenne : L’espérance déçue d’une alternative aux États-Unis ?
 flecheMEPs give green light to new European Globalisation Fund
 flecheLe Parlement européen remet le Prix Sakharov 2006 à Alexandre Milinkevitch
 fleche2006 report: the drugs problem in Europe
 flecheDrugs in Europe cheaper than ever says report
 flecheDer EU-Beitritt Bulgariens und Rumäniens
 flecheThe EU must define how far it can expand with new member states
 flecheFair Trade and Development - call for the Commission to act
 flecheRapport sur le commerce équitable et le développement
 flecheL'Union européenne devrait bientôt s'exprimer d'une seule voix à l'UNESCO
 flecheEuromed: much achieved, much still to be done
 fleche Discours du Président Borrell devant la première Assemblée Parlementaire Euroméditerranéenne
 flecheSpeech by the President at the opening of the extraordinary session of the EMPA
 flecheParliament calls for a constructive WTO meeting in Hong Kong
 flecheREACH, the chemistry behind a colossal project
 flecheEl Houdaïgui, Rachid
 flecheParliament gives green light to Romania and Bulgaria
 flecheFerrero-Waldner, Benita
 flecheA clear "yes" to the Constitution
 flecheBudget 2005: MEPs urge more money for EU's key policy areas
 flecheBorell, Josep
 flecheMEPs call for EU seat on Security Council
 flecheIGC - need to move on - not a time for recriminations
 flecheCommission President Prodi unveils action plan as a result of Eurostat affair
 flecheEnlargement: EU should promote decision on Kosovo final status within two years
 flecheExternal Relations: Urgent call on both Israel and Palestinians not to declare the peace process dead
 flecheSecurity and Defence: Financing and priorities for EU foreign and security policy
 flecheUrgent call to both Israel and Palestinians not to declare the peace process dead
 flecheCommissioner Verheugen gives foretaste of monitoring reports on accession countries
 flecheEurostat: a chronology of events
 flecheEtendre Erasmus au monde entier
 flechePour une politique volontaire de lutte contre les maladies liées à la pauvreté
 flecheLe directeur général de l'OMC promet des efforts pour associer plus intensément la société civile aux négociations de Doha
 flecheSustainable development: towards a global partnership. Greens/EFA Report Accepted by the Commission
 flecheNicole Fontaine: "une Convention porteuse d'espoir pour l'avenir de l'Union"
13
SEARCH
Keywords   go
in 
the articles