The European Parliament (EP) has asked the European Commission (EC) to assess the situation in Hungary and to establish a new mechanism to monitor democracy, the rule of law and human rights annually across the European Union, in a resolution voted on Wednesday. Reinstating the death penalty in Hungary would breach the EU Treaties and Charter of fundamental rights, and the wording of the Hungarian government’s public consultation on migration is unacceptable, EP said in its resolution passed by 362 votes to 247, with 88 abstentions. Most of the ‘yes’ votes came from the European left-wing, liberal and green parties.
Majority of MEPs denounced the Hungarian government’s public consultation on migration. Although “public consultation can be an important and valuable tool for governments to develop policies”, “the content and the language used in this particular consultation is “highly misleading, biased, and unbalanced; establishing a biased and direct link between migratory phenomena and security threats”, they say. Left-leaning MEPs have also called on the European Commission to “immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process on the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and to report back on this matter to the European Parliament and Council before September 2015”.
Addressing a debate on 20th of May in Strasbourg on the situation in Hungary, PM Viktor Orbán insisted that “there shall be no taboos” in Europe and even the EU treaties in effect could be revised. The right of decision-making on immigration should be returned to member states, he said. Concerning the issue of the death penalty, the Hungarian prime minister told MEPs that this is an issue that can be addressed, and it „is not one of penal policy, but of freedom of speech and opinion.” Later Viktor Orbán confirmed several times that his government respects and honours all EU Treaties and legislation, and it has no intention to re-introduce death penalty in Hungary.
via europarl.europa.eu and euractiv.com photo: Vincent Kessler – reuters.com