Eight Hungarian NGOs, participating in the stakeholder consultation launched by the European Commission for its first annual Rule of Law Report, trust that the EC will make concrete, enforceable recommendations to EU Member States, hence also for Hungary on how to advance rule of law in the EU.
In 2020, the European Commission will issue its first Rule of Law Report, covering all EU Member States. In the preparation of the report, the EC will rely on various sources, including input received from Member States. The EC also launched a stakeholder consultation, so that civil society organisations, academics, or journalists’ federations and judges’ associations could share their views on the state of the rule of law with the EU.
Eight Hungarian civil society organisations – Amnesty International Hungary, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, K-Monitor, Mertek Media Monitor, Political Capital, Romaversitas Foundation and Transparency International Hungary – cooperated to send responses to the EC consultation questions with regard to Hungary.
The consultation and the NGO contributions covered the following topics:
- justice system: independence of the judiciary, the prosecution and the bar, the quality and efficiency of the justice system;
- anti-corruption framework: the institutional framework capacity to fight against corruption, the practice of prevention and repressive measures;
- media pluralism: media regulatory authorities, transparency of media ownership and government interference, journalists’ protection, access to information;
- other institutional issues related to checks and balances: regime for constitutional review of laws, the process for preparing and enacting laws, independent authorities, the right to vote, the enabling framework for civil society.
The NGOs gave evidence about the devastating impact of the last decade’s governmental and legislative measures on the rule of law and how the adoption of the Authorization Act in March 2020, which introduced excessively wide powers for the Government without a sunset clause, exacerbated the deterioration of rule of law in Hungary.
The European Commission plans to publish its first annual Rule of Law Report in the fall. The eight Hungarian NGOs trust that in its report, the EC will make concrete, enforceable recommendations to EU Member States, including for Hungary, on how to advance rule of law in the EU .