Concerns about the plurality of independent media in Hungary are growing after a government-affiliated entrepreneur bought into the business of the country’s largest still independent news portal. For weeks, the portal’s employees have been warning that their independence is under threat. Following the dismissal of the editor-in-chief, more than 80 employees submitted their resignations. Thousands of Hungarians took to the streets in Budapest to protest against the government’s influence on the media.Continue reading
Last week, the Hungarian parliament voted to end the state of emergency, which gave the government the power to decide by decree on issues related to the Covid 19 pandemic. The emergency legislation adopted in March was heavily criticised because it did not have a clear end date. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is now demanding an apology from all those who criticised him and his government for the so-called “Enabling Act” and accused him of using the Corona pandemic to undermine democracy. At the same time, the parliament, in which Orbán has a two-thirds majority, approved a new draft law that will make it easier for the government to continue to govern by decree.Continue reading
What has happened in Hungary since the adoption of the controversial emergency law?
The “Coronavirus Law” adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 30th March did not only enable Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to govern by decree for an unlimited period of time, but also suspended elections and referendums. With the passing of the emergency law, the parliament controlled by Orbán’s right-wing conservative Fidesz party had disempowered itself. The law also provides for prison sentences of several years for the dissemination of false news as well as for news that could cause panic. This emergency law has somewhat distracted the public from the fact that the dismantling of fundamental freedoms is not only being pursued under the banner of the fight against corona, but is continuing on all fronts.
What has Hungary as a whole been doing since the so-called “Enabling Act” was adopted by Parliament? Here is a chronicle of events: Continue reading
Human rights violations on the parliamentary agenda in Hungary and Poland
The increasingly autocratic tendencies observed in Poland and Hungary during the Corona crisis have alarmed the European Union. With street protests currently banned, human rights activists fear that the pandemic will be used by national conservative governments in both countries to consolidate their power and undermine democracy and human rights. The challenge of the COVID 19 crisis must not be used as a distraction from legislative measures aimed at restricting human rights or stigmatizing certain groups of people. Continue reading
The Enabling Act poses a serious threat to the rule of law in Hungary
A statement by Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger on the situation in Hungary
Read the German version on freiheit.org
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has extended his power in Hungary with a new law. Despite the spread of the new coronavirus: this shouldn’t have happened.
On Monday, the Hungarian Parliament passed the so-called “Enabling Act”. In the future, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will therefore be able to govern by decree without parliamentary approval. The law does not have a time limit. The Hungarian government claims that the massive spread of the novel coronavirus is the reason for these legislative changes. Continue reading
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Hungarian politics in 2020 will be different from 2019 in a number of ways. After years of paralysis and disarray of the Hungarian non-Fidesz opposition, they are back in the political game after a surprise non-defeat at the municipal elections in October 2019. Continue reading