EU Rule of Law Dialogues: Risks – in Context

On January 16, 2020 the European Parliament passed a resolution about the state of the Article 7(1) TEU hearings with Hungary and Poland, noting with concern that “the reports and statements by the Commission and international bodies, such as the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe, indicate that the situation in both Poland and Hungary has deteriorated since the triggering of Article 7(1) of the TEU”. The resolution is a plea for a structured and more meaningful process in which each EU institution would exercise its existing powers in a meaningful and cooperative manner. The resolution emphasizes that the Article 7(1) TEU preventive process is one of risk assessment and one that may have actual – including budgetary – consequences.

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Silencing the Opposition in Hungary

On 10 December, the Hungarian opposition MPs got a lovely present from the governing majority for Christmas wrapped in a big legislative package amending both the Act on Parliament and the Rules of Procedure. The amendments to the parliamentary regulation serve the purpose of silencing the opposition parties which have been constantly gaining strength in the last few months.

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

The Hungarian Government has officially abandoned its plans to reform the administrative court system. However, the plan to subdue the judiciary is pursued as relentlessly as ever: On 12 November 2019, the Hungarian Government introduced an omnibus legislation which would extend political influence over the judiciary and guarantee judicial decisions favorable to the Government in politically sensitive cases.

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Alles eine Frage der eigenen „Wahl“?

Am 21. November 2019 hat die Große Kammer des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte in Straßburg (EGMR) seine Entscheidung über die ungarischen Transitzonen gefällt. Die Entscheidung dürfte in Bezug auf Transitzonen an europäischen Landgrenzen einen Präzedenzfall geschaffen haben – wobei das Urteil sehr problematische Implikationen enthält.

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Local Elections in Hungary: the Results in Context

On October 13, 2019 local elections were held in Hungary. Even though the opposition parties had to fight an uphill battle, they achieved significant success not only in Budapest, but also in other big cities. The aim of this article is to put the results in context in order to give a more accurate picture of the current Hungarian situation.

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Luxemburg as the Last Resort

A criminal proceeding has been suspended by a Hungarian justice of the Pest Central District Court to ask the European Court of Justice preliminary questions, inter alia, about his own judicial independence. Now, Hungary’s Supreme Court has stepped in and ruled that the reference was illegal, essentially arguing that preliminary references are not the fora to discuss such claims. In fact, however, this preliminary reference reveals that all other means to effectively challenge the rule of law backsliding in Hungary have failed.

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