Deja-vu in European Parliament underlines shortcomings of EU tools on fundamental rights
The European Parliament today debated the situation in Hungary, notably the proposed questionnaire on immigration and recent statements by Prime Minister Orban on reinstating the death penalty. Parliament will adopt a resolution in June, following a proposal of the Greens/EFA group. In the context of the debate, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts said:
"There is a sad sense of deja-vu about today's European Parliament debate on the situation in Hungary. Yet again, we are discussing concerns with Hungary's commitment to fundamental European values and yet again Viktor Orban is present to mount a defence of his ongoing assault on these values.
"There are clear and legitimate concerns about the shameful and xenophobic government-mandated survey on immigration. Even if he has since backtracked, Orban's comments on reinstating the death penalty also underline how far he has lurched from the common values which underpin membership of the European Union and to which Hungary signed up on joining the EU.
"However, that we are again discussing fundamental rights in Hungary is also an indictment of the EU's own mechanisms for upholding these rights. EU governments in Council are again shirking their responsibility for ensuring common European values are respected by all EU member states. This is shameful, as is the reluctance of Mr Orban's European political family members in the EPP to condemn his latest lurch away from European values. However, the same could apply to the new law in Spain on public demonstrations or infringements of media freedom in a number of member states. The EU needs more consequent mechanisms for ensuring its common rights are upheld."