Extracts from the EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Exchange of views with Françoise LE BAIL, Director-General for Justice, on the evaluation by the European Commission, on the situation in Hungary and initiatives to be taken.
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EP
End production: 12/01/2012 First transmission: 12/01/2012
Concerns as to whether the laws implementing Hungary's new constitution are compatible with EU rules and values were raised by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs in a debate on Thursday. Some MEPs proposed a "fundamental rights check" to determine whether there is a risk of a serious breach of EU values, while others favoured awaiting the European Commission's analysis of the laws, due on 17 January, before judging "a decision taken by a sovereign country".
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Brussels
||SOUNDBITE (english) Françoise LE BAIL, EC Director-General for Justice: "The Commission is the guardian of the Treaty and on this ground the Commission is evaluating the compliance of Hungarians laws with the EU Law."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Françoise LE BAIL, EC Director-General for Justice: "The Commission is the guardian of the Treaty and on this ground the Commission is evaluating the compliance of Hungarians laws with the EU Law."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Commission’s Director General for Justice, Françoise LE BAIL: "This (Hungarian) law brings the retirement age for judges from the age of 70 to the age of 62. As a result, close to 300 judges, 274 to be completely accurate, would have retired on 31 December 2012. What the Commission is looking at on this issue, is the compatibility of this measure with the directive of equal treatment in employment
||SOUNDBITE Frank Engel (EPP, LU): "The Hungarian authorities have answered the questions of Mrs Reding already on a document containing 19 pages. They are serious about all this and if the Commission is serious about all this, let's have this business concluded next week with all the seriousness that it requires".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Kinga GÖNCZ (S&D, HU): "What kind of action would you expect from the Hungarian authorities in the coming weeks knowing that next week the College will make a decision whether or not to move forward with the infringement procedure. We all hope that it will not be necessary, but it will be very important to know, which the expectations are".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sophie INT’VELD (ALDE, NL): "I would like to remind you that Hungary, like the other 26 member states, too a sovereign decision to sing up to the EU Treaties and it ahs EU Treaty obligations, and I think what we are actually discussing today is not Hungary. Hungary is not the problem, but it exposes the problem. The problem is the lack of enforcement of fundamental rights and the rule of law and the rules of democracy in Europe".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Louis MICHEL (ALDE, BE): "What I deplore is not the intentions or the political will of these majority in the government of Hungary, what I deplore is the deeds of this government, their huge mistake, their huge sin of partiality, their efforts to put in place a partial state, a state working in the interest of a political group".
||SOUNDBITE (English) József SZÁJER : "We inherited the duty of a big restructuring, the 2/3 majority was not won in lottery, it was won on the will of the people of a big change, and what we did by 30 cardinal laws and 230 new law is basically a creation of anew state which is functional. If there has been this 4 or 5 mistakes, then I am happy, Hungarian Parliament has done a good job in such a short period of time".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Commission’s Director General for Justice, Françoise LE BAIL: "What the Commission is expecting from Hungary and any other member states is a full compliance with the EU law, full compliance with the letter and the spirit of the Treaties and the Charter of fundamental rights".
||Cutaways (7 shots)