EU has 'vital interest' in protecting rights in Hungary
by Csaba Tabajdi
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán twists the truth by claiming he is a target of the international left, but his government is not acting in the interests of the country or in compliance with European values – writes a Hungarian MEP
Ensuring the respect of human rights in Europe is not only the internal affair of any member state of the European Union. In the protection of Hungarian citizens, it is our vital interest to restore the rule of law, the freedom of the media and to protect fundamental rights. The European Parliament has recently expressed grave concerns related to recent political developments in Hungary, in order to protect the rights of its citizens.
The resolution adopted on Thursday by the parliament's plenary with 315 votes in favour clearly shows that Viktor Orbán and his party are not acting in compliance with Hungary's interests or with European values. With the adoption of this text, no one can doubt in the future that Europe is not some loose economic cooperation, but rather a strong unit based on democratic values and that the strongest engine in its machinery is the democratically elected parliament.
The parliament's resolution does not condemn Hungary or Hungarian citizens, but calls on the European Commission to monitor the new legislation adopted by the two-third majority of the ruling party. MEPs expect the commission to ensure that not only the letter, but also the implementation of the adopted legislation, does not contradict European values. And there are many causes for concerns
The new 'party' constitution, now called the Basic Law of Hungary, was adopted without any public consultation. The barrage of cardinal laws adopted by the faithful Fidesz flock undermined the independence of the judiciary, the independence of the central bank, and the independence of the data protection authority. On these issues, the commission launched infringement proceedings against Hungary. Furthermore, the fair conditions of political competition and political alternation have been questioned by the new electoral system which overwhelmingly serves party interests.
Orbán states that in case of the flat-tax system, "it is enough if people realise that it is economically reasonable", but in fact, it gives more to the rich, and takes away from the poor. The cardinal laws give exclusive rights to the current majority to appoint officials for an unusually long term, thus affecting future governments' ability to govern. Checks and balances are ignored by the practice of the government to appoint Fidesz-cronies to important positions and endow them with tremendous power. This is Orbán's understanding of democracy. Ours is different.
Orbán and his government declared war on the EU in Budapest by saying things like: "Europe has started to become something like alcohol: it inspires us to undertake great goals, but prevents us from reaching them." The excerpt is from his 2012 state of the nation speech. At the same time, in Brussels, he launched a charm offensive. As Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, noted: "He is an efficient politician, using European rhetoric in Brussels and to blame the same rhetoric when he is in Budapest."
But he forgot to take into account that Europeans are not stupid either. Furthermore, Orbán goes hand in hand with Hungarian radical right, not condemning acts like the burning of the EU flag by the extremist Jobbik party's politicians in January. Giving silent support to extremism will perhaps serve short-term party interests, but in the long term it strengthens the poisonous euroscepticism. This is Orbán's understanding of democracy. Ours is different.
At home Fidesz is twisting the truth by suggesting that that the EU, and the international left have condemned Hungary. Before the resolution Angela Merkel, Alain Juppé, other European right-wing politicians and Hillary Clinton also expressed grave concerns and criticised the current government's policy and its anti-democratic measures. Orbán deems it an attack against him, which – in his view – is equal to an attack on Hungary. But the Orbán government is not equal to Hungary. This is Orbán's understanding of democracy. Ours is different.
Csaba Tabajdi MEP is the head of the Hungarian delegation of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
Shame on you.
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Hungary's case is interesting. How to create a religiously motivated plutocracy! A Christian version of a Middle Eastern or African failed state. If Europeans don't like it, then they should eject Hungary as an example of what happens to states that don't act in line with European values. And soon.
pmcdonald - UK
In Hungary the average lifetime for a man is 69 years old. If judges are forced to work up to 70 years old, it means that they are going to the grave right from the office. This is the democracy that this article claimed on Orban? Anyway. The major part of the aged judges are already in pension, of course, and they work for their second payment. Only a positive discrimination is applied for the judges of the Court of Constitution where the max limit is 70 years old.
The main crime Orban is accused of is the one party dictatorship with 2/3 in the parliament, the only problem is that it is a hoax. In the Hungarian parliament there are 385 seats. Orban's party FIDESZ has got 226 seats, 58,7 per cent. To have 2/3 he needs at least 66 per cent. So, there is a coalition with KDNP 37 seats, 9,61 per cent. Only these two parties together can have 263 seat and 68,31 per ceent. So, where is the one party dictatorship? Where people freely can go out and say that they are not free to go out and talk freely is a clinical case. In communism, you were not supposed to go out because there was a dictatorship. So, the proof of freedom is to see people going out and talk or write the outragous articles that they do every day.
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Can anybody show me a happy country in the EU? I would be really surprised. If we want to help out each other, we have to unite our forces and first of all we have to look into the basics of our problems. Let's face one of the biggest problem in the EU, the European Parliament. The last election was in 2009. Only in 2011, 13 governments were changed in the EU where as the political parties and the number of seats in the EP will be unaltered until 2014. This is insane. The EP is not representative at all. Who are they representing? The EP has became a private club. They don't respond to their parties or their countries. A new entity out of control with the power of removing governments like in Greece and Italy.
There is a legal alien in the EP. Lajos Bokros is representing a political party which does not exist any more in Hungary. No one can send him home. If we EU citizens want to clean up this mess we have to organize an international referendum in order to change the EP election law and bring the EP back to reality. We need up to date professional political forces in the EP that can work in harmony with the current political situation, otherwise the mess will be even bigger. EP deputies' mandate should be withdrawn in case of unsatisfactory behavior or poor quality of work. Like reply at three tax rates. Shall I go on?
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The EP has voted against Hungary as it was written Hungary not other and did not wait for the. Hungarian people have seen this kind of acting. It was called communist dictatorship. Now the luckier half of Europe can learn it too. It is too easy to be on the left political side without actually living in a communist country. In Italy, there are Christian communists, which is a political technical nonsense. They actually go to church. Communists are atheists and do not tolerate religion at all in a so called tolerant EU.
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