Commission and Council must stand firm on the rule of law
Today, Members of the European Parliament have voted by an overwhelming majority to call on the Commission to continue to stand firm on the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism in the case of Hungary.
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP, Rapporteur for the situation in Hungary and Greens/EFA co-signatory on the resolution, comments:
“The proposed reforms will not solve the dire situation in which the Hungarian government has put their own country in. Much more will be needed to restore democracy and the rule of law. We must continue the Article 7 procedure and the Commission and Council must hold their nerve with the conditionality mechanism until the government proposes real reforms that will deliver on democratic standards.
“The Hungarian government has proposed a new integrity authority only because all the other agencies that would help root out corruption are not functioning properly. But an effective anti-corruption system cannot exist without the independence of the judiciary.
“Even if the 17 measures were effective and implemented properly, they will do nothing to address the lack of fundamental rights, media freedom or attacks against minorities.”
Daniel Freund MEP, Greens/EFA co-signatory on the resolution, comments:
"The credibility of the Commission and the EU as a whole rests on its ability to maintain democracy, the rule of law and protection of EU funds. For too long the Hungarian government has systematically undermined democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. Fidesz and Orban have woven corruption into the fabric of the Hungarian state.
“It will take more than papering over the cracks to restore Hungarian democracy. That is why EU money to Hungary must be frozen until the government rebuilds the structures of a functioning democratic state. Money is the only language Orban understands. We call on the Commission and Council to hold the line in the defence of the rule of law.”
The Hungarian government has proposed a series of 17 measures to deal with anti-corruption in the country. However these reforms are yet to be implemented and serious questions remain about how effective they will be in a country where the judiciary cannot be considered independent. That is why the Greens/EFA have been calling on the Commission to continue with the mechanism procedure until sufficient changes have been made in Hungary that will guarantee the rule of law and the protection of EU funds. The Commission is expected to release its assessment of the 17 measures on the 30th of November.