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22/07/14

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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Commission speaks with one voice on Hungary

EC

Today President José Manuel Barroso sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán confirming that, based on a first legal analysis, the Commission has serious concerns over the compatibility of the Fourth Amendment to the Hungarian Fundamental Law with EU legislation and with the principle of the rule of law.

This comes following an article published yesterday by Hungarian Justice Minister Navracsics claiming that Vice-President Reding had contradicted President Barroso's 'neutral' stance towards Hungary.

The European Commission Spokeswomen yesterday clarified: "As we have set out very clearly, the European Commission has important legal concerns regarding recent decisions taken in Hungary. We are currently assessing the next steps to take [on the basis of in-depth legal analysis]. The Commission will decide on next steps as quickly as possible.

Commission President Barroso is in full agreement with Vice-President Reding about the approach taken to the situation in Hungary."

Background

Following the change of the constitution on 11 March, President Barroso, together with Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland, issued a joint statement saying that the amendment raised concerns with respect to the principle of the rule of law, EU law and Council of Europe standards.

Now, the European Commission is carrying out a detailed assessment of the amendments adopted by the Hungarian Parliament.

The Commission is looking into the current developments keeping in mind the concerns it raised in connection with the adoption of the current Fundamental Law two years ago. The Commission will decide on next steps as quickly as possible.