EuroParliament: Hungary no longer a democracy


The European Parliament on Sept. 15 voted to adopt an interim report finding that Hungary is no longer a democracy, but is becoming a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”—a constitutional system in which elections occur, but respect for democratic norms and standards are absent. The report was mandated in 2018, when EuroParliament passed a resolution asking European Union member states to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU’s founding values, in accordance with Article 7(1) of the Treaty on the European Union. EuroParliament raised concerns about judicial independence, freedom of speech and religion, and the rights of migrants and LGBTQ persons.

From Jurist, Sept. 16. Used with permission.

Photo: Pixabay

  1. European Commission launches legal proceedings against Hungary

    The European Commission on Feb. 7 launched an infringement procedure against Hungary regarding the country’s “national sovereignty” law, claiming the new legislation violates EU law. Hungary’s national assembly adopted the law on Dec. 12, and it has been in force since Dec. 22.

    The new law creates an administrative body called the “Sovereignty Protection Office,” which has extensive power to investigate specific activities carried out in the interest of another state, foreign body, organization or indiviual. The office may also enforce “national sovereignty” by “evaluating the information and data obtained from the organizations subject to investigation, state and local government bodies, and other organizations or persons.” (Jurist)

  2. Hungary: interference with media freedom

    Human Rights Watch published a report on Feb. 13 charging that Hungary’s interference with media freedom and pluralism harms the rule of law.

    The report, entitled “‘I Can’t Do My Job as a Journalist’: The Systematic Undermining of Media Freedom in Hungary,” outlines the obstacles faced by independent journalists and media under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. According to the report, since 2010, the ruling Fidesz-KDNP government has actively worked to dismantle media freedom and pluralism by exerting control over the media regulatory body, allowing pro-government outlets to dominate, and exercising direct political control over the public service broadcaster. Independent and investigative journalists encounter significant hurdles in their work, including surveillance, threats, limited access to decision-makers and public information, and smear campaigns in pro-government media. (Jurist)