Hungary: Commission infringements don't go far enough - article 7 TEU should be applied / 18-01-2012
The ALDE Group takes note of today's Commission decision to launch infringement proceedings against Hungary on three issues, namely the independence of the national central bank, the retirement age of judges and the independence of the data protection authority. Nevertheless ALDE expresses its concern that the core issue of a breach of fundamental rights is occurring in Hungary and has been ignored so far by European institutions.
"By deciding to begin infringement procedures only on three specific issues that may breach European law, the Commission has missed the broader picture. The case of Hungary is not just about technical breaches of EU legislation, but a wider concern of gradual but persistent erosion of EU values, as spelled out in Article 2 - eg. concerning freedom of expression, of the media and of religion'", said ALDE Leader Guy Verhofstadt.
"It is stated in Article 7 that when there 'is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2' the EU institutions shall take action. If not the EU, then who? If not now, when?"
"This should not be perceived as an attack on Hungary or the Hungarian people but a warning to the Hungarian government, and other governments who may pursue similar changes undermining civil liberties", Verhofstadt concluded.
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