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European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2013 on the situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary

P7_TA(2013)0 315
Situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary
European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2013 on the situation of fundamental rights:
standards and practices in Hungary (pursuant to the European Parliament resolution of
16 February 2012) (2012/2130(INI))
The European Parliament ,
– having regard to Article 2 of the Treaty on European Unio n (TEU), setting out the values
upon which the Union is founded,
– having regard to Articles 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), Articles
49, 56, 114, 167 and 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),
the Charter o f Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention
on Human Rights (ECHR),
– having regard to its resolution of 16 February 2012 on the recent political developments in
Hungary 1 instructing the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, in
cooperation with the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the Venice
Commission, to follow up the issue of whether and how the recommendations set out in
that resolution have been implemented, and to present its findings in a re port,
– having regard to its resolutions of 10 March 2011 on the media law in Hungary 2 and of 5
July 2011 on the Revised Hungarian Constitution 3,
– having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2010 on the situation of fundamental rights
in the European U nion (2009) – effective implementation after the entry into force of the
Treaty of Lisbon 4,
– having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2012 on the situation of fundamental rights
in the European Union (2010 -2011) 5,
– having regard to the Commission Communication on Article 7 of the Treaty on European
Union – Respect for and promotion of the values on which the Union is based
(COM(2003)0606),
– having regard to the Council and Commission statements presented at the plenary debate
held in the European Parliament on 18 January 2012 on the recent political developments
in Hungary,
– having regard to the statements of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who
addressed the European Parliament on 18 January 2012 in the plenary debate on the recent
pol itical developments in Hungary,
1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0053. 2 OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 154. 3 OJ C 33 E, 5.2.2013, p. 17. 4 OJ C 169 E, 15.6.2012, p. 49. 5 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0500.

– having regard to the hearing held on 9 February 2012 by the Committee on Civil
Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs,
– having regard to the report of a delegation of Members of the European Parliament on
their visit to Buda pest from 24 to 26 September 2012,
– having regard to the working documents on the situation of fundamental rights: standards
and practices in Hungary (pursuant to the European Parliament resolution of 16 February
2012) comprising working documents No 1 – Independence of the Judiciary, No 2 –
Fundamental principles and Fundamental Rights, No 3 – Media legislation, No 4 –
Principles of democracy and the rule of law, and No 5 – Concluding Remarks by the
Rapporteur, which were discussed in the Committee on Civ il Liberties, Justice and Home
Affairs on 10 July 2012, 20 September 2012, 22 January 2013, 7 March 2013 and 8 April
2013 respectively, as well as the comments of the Hungarian Government thereon,
– having regard to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, adopted on 18 April 2011 by the
National Assembly of the Hungarian Republic, which entered into force on 1 January
2012 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Fundamental Law’), and the Transitional Provisions
of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, adopted on 30 December 20 11 by the National
Assembly, which also entered into force on 1 January 2012 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the
Transitional Provisions’),
– having regard to the First Amendment to the Fundamental Law, tabled by the Minister for
National Economy on 17 April 2012 and adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 4 June
2012, establishing that the Transitional Provisions are part of the Fundamental Law ,
– having regard to the Second Amendment to the Fundamental Law, tabled on
18 September 2012 in the form of an individual member’s bill and adopted by the
Hungarian Parliament on 29 October 2012, introducing the requirement of voter
registration into the Transitional Provisions,
– having regard to the Third Amendment to the Fundamental Law, tabled on 7 December
201 2, adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 21 December 2012 and establishing that
the limits and conditions for acquisition of ownership and for use of arable land and
forests and the rules concerning the organisation of integrated agricultural production a re
to be laid down by cardinal law,
– having regard to the Fourth Amendment of the Fundamental Law, tabled on 8 February
2013 in the form of an individual member’s bill and adopted by the Hungarian Parliament
on 11 March 2013, which, among other provisions , integrates into the text of the
Fundamental Law the Transitional Provisions (with some exceptions including the
provision requiring voter registration) annulled by the Constitutional Court of Hungary on
28 December 2012 on procedural grounds (Decision No 45/2012), and remaining
provisions of a genuinely transitional nature in this document,
– having regard to Act CXI of 2012 on the Amendment of Act CLXI of 2011 on the
organisation and administration of courts and Act CLXII of 2011 on the legal status and
remuneration of judges in Hungary,
– having regard to Act XX of 2013 on the legislative amendments relating to the upper age
limit applicable in certain judicial legal relations,,

– having regard to Act CCVI of 2011 on the right to freedom of conscience a nd religion and
the legal status of churches, denominations and religious communities of Hungary (the
Act on Churches), which was adopted on 30 December 2011 and entered into force on 1
January 2012,
– having regard to Opinions Nos CDL(2011)016, CDL(2011)0 01, CDL -AD(2012)001,
CDL -AD(2012)009, CDL -AD(2012)020 and CDL -AD(2012)004 of the European
Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) on the new Constitution
of Hungary, on the three legal questions arising from the process of drafting the new
Constitution of Hungary, on Act CLXII of 2011 on the legal status and remuneration of
judges of Hungary and Act CLXI of 2011 on the organisation and administration of courts
of Hungary, on Act CLI of 2011 on the Constitutional Court of Hungary, on the car dinal
acts on the judiciary that were amended following the adoption of opinion CDL –
AD(2012)001 on Hungary, and on the Act on the right to freedom of conscience and
religion and the legal status of churches, denominations and religious communities of
Hunga ry,
– having regard to Joint Opinion No CDL -AD(2012)012 of the Venice Commission and the
OSCE/ODIHR on the Act on the elections of Members of Parliament of Hungary,
– having regard to the Hungarian Government’s comments Nos CDL(2012)072,
CDL(2012)046 and C DL(2012)045 on the draft opinion of the Venice Commission on the
cardinal acts on the judiciary that were amended following the adoption of opinion CDL –
AD(2012)001, on the draft joint opinion on the Act on the elections of Members of
Parliament of Hungary and on the draft opinion on Act CLI of 2011 on the Constitutional
Court of Hungary,
– having regard to the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary General of the Council of
Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, including the recommendations on the judiciary laid down in
his letter of 24 April 2012 addressed to the Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister, Tibor
Navracsics,
– having regard to the letters of reply of 10 May 2012 and of 7 June 2012 from
Mr Navracsics declaring the intention of the Hungarian authorities to address the
recommendations by Mr Jagland,
– having regard to the letter of 6 March 2013 sent by the Secretary General of the Council
of Europe, Mr Jagland, to Mr Navracsics expressing his concerns about the proposal for
the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental L aw and calling for the postponement of the
final vote, and the letter of reply of 7 March 2013 from Mr Navracsics,
– having regard to the letter of 6 March 2013 sent by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of
Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland to th e Commission President, José
Manuel Barroso, calling for a mechanism to foster compliance with fundamental values in
the Member States,
– having regard to the letter of 8 March 2013 sent by the Hungarian Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Mr János Martonyi, to a ll his counterparts in the Member States of the EU
explaining the purpose of the Fourth Amendment,
– having regard to the letter of 8 March 2013 sent by Mr Barroso to Mr Orbán on the

concerns of the European Commission regarding the Fourth Amendment to the
Fundamental Law and the letter of reply from Mr Orbán to the Commission President,
copies of which were sent to both the President of the European Council, Herman Van
Rompuy, and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz,
– having regard to the joint statement of 11 March 2013 by President Barroso and Secretary
General Jagland recalling their concerns regarding the Fourth Amendment to the
Fundamental Law with respect to the principle of the rule of law; and having regard to the
confirmation m ade by Prime Minister Orbán, in his letter addressed to President Barroso
on 8 March 2013, of the full commitment of the Hungarian Government and Parliament to
the European norms and values,
– having regard to the request for an opinion of the Venice Commi ssion on the Fourth
Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, sent on 13 March 2013 by Mr Martonyi
to Mr Jagland,
– having regard to the Council and Commission statements on the constitutional situation in
Hungary presented at the plenary debate held in the European Parliament on 17 April
2013,
– having regard to the letter of 16 December 2011 from the Commissioner for Human
Rights of the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, to Mr Martonyi, raising concerns
on the subject of the new Hungarian law on th e Right to Freedom of Conscience and
Religion and on the Legal Status of Churches, religious denominations and religious
communities, and having regard to Mr Martonyi’s reply of 12 January 2012,
– having regard to Opinion No CommDH(2011)10 of 25 February 2 011 of the
Commissioner for Human Rights on Hungary’s media legislation in light of the Council
of Europe’s standards on freedom of the media, as well as to the annotations to that
opinion of 30 May 2011 from the Hungarian Minister of State for Government
Communication,
– having regard to the statements by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR) of 15 February 2012 and 11 December 2012 calling respectively on
Hungary to reconsider legislation allowing local authorities to punish home lessness and to
uphold the Constitutional Court’s decision decriminalising homelessness,
– having regard to the statements by the OHCHR of 15 March 2013 voicing concerns over
the adoption of the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law,
– having regard to the ongoing infringement proceedings in Case C -288/12 brought by the
European Commission against Hungary over the legality of the termination of the
mandate of the former Commissioner for Data Protection still pending before the
European Court of Justice,
– having regard to the Decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union of
6 November 2012 on the radical lowering of the retirement age for Hungarian judges, and
having regard to the subsequent adoption of Act No XX of 2013 amending Act CLXII of
201 1 – adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 11 March 2013 – following the decision
of the European Court of Justice,

– having regard to the Decisions of the Constitutional Court of Hungary of 16 July 2012
(No 33/2012) on the lowering of the retirement age o f judges in Hungary, of 28 December
2012 ( No 45/2012) on the Transitional Provisions of the Fundamental Law, of 4 January
2013 (No 1/2013) on the Act on the electoral procedure and of 26 February 2013 (No
6/2013) on the Act on freedom of religion and the l egal status of churches,
 having regard to the report by the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe,
 having regard to Law LXXII of 2013 on the creation of new rules and regulations relating
to the oversight of national security; having regard to the letter of 27 May 2013 from Dr
András Zs. Varga addressed to Dr András Cser -Palkovics, Chair of the Hungarian
Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Procedural Affairs, raising concerns
over the legislation adopte d on the creation of new rules and regulations relating to the
oversight of national security,
 having regard to the upcoming assessment of the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental
Law by the European Commission,
– having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Pr ocedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
(A7 -0229/2013 ),
I – BACKGROUND AND MAIN I SSUES AT STAKE
European common values
A. whereas the European Union is founded on the values of respect for hum an dignity,
freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the
rights of persons belonging to minorities, as set out in Article 2 TEU, on unequivocal
respect for fundamental rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Cha rter of Fundamental
Rights and in the ECHR, and on the recognition of the legal value of such rights,
freedoms and principles, as is further demonstrated by the EU’s forthcoming accession to
the ECHR pursuant to Article 6(2) TEU;
B. whereas the common valu es enshrined in Article 2 TEU constitute the core of the rights
enjoyed by persons living within the EU and especially by EU citizens, irrespective of
their nationality and no matter where they might consider themselves to belong in cultural
or religious t erms, and whereas such persons can fully enjoy those rights only if the EU’s
fundamental values and principles are upheld;
C. whereas the values set out in Article 2 TEU have to be addressed politically and legally,
this being an indispensable foundation o f our democratic society, and whereas, therefore,
Member States, as well as all the EU institutions, must commit themselves to them,
clearly and unambiguously;
D. whereas respecting and promoting such common values is not only an essential element of
the E uropean Union’s identity but also an explicit obligation deriving from Article 3(1)
and (5) TEU, and therefore a sine qua non for becoming an EU Member State as well as
for fully preserving membership prerogatives;
E. whereas the obligations incumbent on c andidate countries under the Copenhagen criteria

continue to apply to the Member States after joining the EU by virtue of Article 2 TEU
and the principle of sincere cooperation, and whereas all Member States should therefore
be assessed on a regular basis in order to verify their continued compliance with the EU’s
common values;
F. whereas Article 6(3) TEU underscores the fact that fundamental rights, as guaranteed by
the ECHR and as arising from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States,
co nstitute general principles of Union law, and whereas such rights are a common
heritage and strength of democratic European states;
G. whereas, with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and pursuant to Article 6 TEU,
the Charter has the same legal value as the Treaties, hence transforming values and
principles into tangible and enforceable rights;
H. whereas Article 7(1) TEU, by a defined procedure, grants the EU institutions the power to
assess whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach of t he common values referred to in
Article 2 by a Member State, and to engage politically with the country concerned in
order to prevent and redress violations; whereas before making such a determination, the
Council shall hear the Member State in question, a cting in accordance with the same
procedure;
I. whereas the scope of Article 2 TEU is not restricted by the limitation of Article 51(1) of
the Charter, whereas the scope of Article 7 TEU is not limited to the policy areas covered
by EU law, and whereas as a consequence the EU can also act in the event of a breach of,
or a clear risk of a breach of, the common values in areas falling under Member States’
competences;
J. whereas, pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation laid down in Article 4(3) TEU,
Member States are to facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and refrain from any
measures which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives, including the
objective of respecting and promoting the Union’s common values;
K. whereas r espect for the Union’s common values goes hand in hand with the EU’s
commitment to diversity, translated into the obligation for the Union to respect ‘the
equality of Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent
in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional’, as stated in Article 4(2) TEU;
whereas the European core values set out in Article 2 TEU result from the constitutional
traditions common to the Members States and cannot therefore be played off again st the
obligation under Article 4 TEU, but make up the basic framework within which Member
States can preserve and develop their national identity;
L. whereas, in the framework of the Treaties, respect for ‘national identities’ (Article 4(2)
TEU) and for ‘ different legal systems and traditions of the Member States’ (Article 67
TFEU) are intrinsically associated with the principles of sincere cooperation (Article 4(3)
TEU), mutual recognition (Articles 81 and 82 TFEU) and thus mutual trust, as well as
with r espect for cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 3(3) TEU);
M. whereas a violation of the Union’s common principles and values by a Member State
cannot be justified by national traditions nor by the expression of a national identity when
such a violat ion results in the deterioration of the principles which are at the heart of
European integration, such as democratic values, the rule of law or the principle of mutual

recognition, with the consequence that a referral to Article 4(2) TEU is applicable onl y in
so far as a Member State respects the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU;
N. whereas the Union’s objective of upholding and promoting its values in its relations with
the wider world, as set out in Article 3(4) TEU, is further reinforced by the specifi c
obligation for the Union’s action on the international scene to be guided by the principles
which inspired its creation, development and enlargement: democracy, the rule of law and
the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freed oms (21(1)
TEU);
O. whereas, therefore, not only the credibility of the Member States and of the EU on the
international scene, but also the Union’s objectives in its external action, would be
undermined if Member States were not able or willing to live up to the standards to which
they have agreed and bound themselves by signing the Treaties;
P. whereas respect by the Member States for the same set of fundamental values is an
indispensable condition for ensuring mutual trust and, consequently, the proper
functioning of mutual recognition, which is at the heart of the creation and development
of the internal market as well as of the European area of freedom, security and justice, and
whereas, therefore, any attempt to disrespect or weaken those common values adversely
affects the whole construction of the European process of economic, social and political
integration;
Q. whereas the common values set out in Article 2 TEU and proclaimed in the Preambles to
the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and referred to in the Preamble to the
ECHR and in Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe require a separation of
powers between independent institutions based on a properly functioning system of
checks and balances, and whereas core features of th ese principles include: respect for
legality, including a transparent, accountable and democratic process of enacting laws;
legal certainty; a strong system of representative democracy based on free elections and
respecting the rights of opposition; effect ive control of the conformity of legislation with
the constitution; an effective, transparent, participatory and accountable government and
administration; an independent and impartial judiciary; independent media; and respect
for fundamental rights;
R. wh ereas the Commission, under Article 17 TEU, ‘ensure[s] the application of the Treaties
… [and] oversee[s] the application of Union law under the control of the Court of Justice
of the European Union’;
Reforms in Hungary
S. whereas Hungary was the first former Communist country to accede to the ECHR, and as
an EU Member State was the first to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon on 17 December 2007,
and whereas Hungary played an active part in the work of the Convention and the
Intergovernmental Conference in 2003 and 2004 in, among other issues, the drafting of
Article 2 TEU, and took the initiative which resulted in the inclusion of the rights of
persons belonging to minorities;
T. whereas over the course of Hungary’s centuries -long history, the peaceful coexiste nce of
nationalities and ethnic groups has enhanced the nation’s cultural richness and its
prosperity; and whereas Hungary should be called upon to continue that tradition and to

take resolute steps to curb any attempts to discriminate against individual g roups;
U. whereas Hungary is also a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and other international legal instruments obliging it to respect and implement
international democratic principles;
V. whereas following the 2010 general elections in Hungary, the governing majority gained
more than two thirds of the seats in parliament, enabling it to rapidly initiate intense
legislative activity to reshape the whole constitutional order of the country (the former
Constitution has been ame nded twelve times and the Fundamental Law four times so far)
and thus substantially to modify the institutional and legal framework, as well as a number
of fundamental aspects of not only public but also private life;
W. whereas any Member State of the Eur opean Union is absolutely free to review its
constitution and whereas the very meaning of democratic alternation is that it enables a
new government to enact legislation reflecting the will of the people, its values and its
political commitments , provided that, in so doing, it does not breach the values and
principles of democracy and the rule of law prevailing in the European Union; whereas in
all Member States special constitutional procedures render constitutional amendment
more difficult compared with p rocedures governing ordinary legislation, namely through
the use of a qualified majority, additional decisional processes, time delays and referenda;
X. whereas the history of democratic traditions in Europe shows that reforming a constitution
requires the utmost care and due consideration of procedures and guarantees aimed at
preserving, among other things, the rule of law, the separation of powers and the hierarchy
of legal norms – the constitution being the supreme law of the land;
Y. whereas the scale o f the comprehensive and systematic constitutional and institutional
reforms which the new Hungarian Government and Parliament have carried out in an
exceptionally short time frame is unprecedented, and explains why so many European
institutions and organis ations (the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE)
have deemed it necessary to assess the impact of some reforms; whereas there should be
no double standards in the treatment of Member States, meaning that the situation in other
Member States sho uld also be monitored, while enforcing the principle of equality of the
Member States before the Treaties;
Z. whereas a dialogue based on openness, inclusiveness, solidarity and mutual respect
between the European institutions and the Hungarian authorities is necessary in the
framework of the abovementioned community of democratic values;
AA. whereas the Commission, in the exercise of its responsibility for overseeing the
application of Union law, has to show the utmost skill, respect the independence of ot hers
and act diligently, swiftly and without delay, especially when it is called upon to deal with
a case in which a Member State may have committed a serious breach of Union values;
The Fundamental Law and its Transitional Provisions
AB. whereas the adopt ion of the Fundamental Law of Hungary – which was passed on 18
April 2011, exclusively with the votes of the members of the governing coalition and on
the basis of a draft text prepared by the representatives of the governing coalition – was
conducted in t he short time frame of 35 calendar days calculated from the presentation of

proposal (T/2627) to the parliament, thus restricting the possibilities for a thorough and
substantial debate with the opposition parties and civil society on the draft text;
AC. whereas the draft constitutional text submitted to the Hungarian Parliament on 14 March
2011 was the one produced by the elected representatives of the Fidesz -KDNP coalition
and not the working document based on the discussions within the ad hoc parliamen tary
committee, even though that committee had been set up expressly for the purpose of
drafting the new Fundamental Law; whereas this situation exacerbated the failure to
consult the opposition;
AD. whereas the ‘national consultation ‘ on constitution maki ng consisted of a list of twelve
questions on very specific issues drafted by the governing party in a way that could have
led to self -evident replies, and whereas the consultation did not include the text of the
draft Fundamental Law;
AE. Whereas on 28 De cember 2012, following a constitutional petition by the Hungarian
Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the Constitutional Court of Hungary annulled
(Decision No 45/2012) more than two thirds of the Transitional Provisions on the grounds
that they were not of a transitional nature;
AF. whereas the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law, adopted on 11 March 2013,
integrates into the text of the Fundamental Law most of the Transitional Provisions
annulled by the Constitutional Court, as well as other provisio ns previously found
unconstitutional;
Extensive use of cardinal laws
AG. whereas the Fundamental Law of Hungary refers to 26 subject matters to be defined by
cardinal laws (that is laws the adoption of which requires a two -thirds majority), which
cover a w ide range of issues relating to Hungary’s institutional system, the exercise of
fundamental rights and important arrangements in society;
AH. whereas since the adoption of the Fundamental Law the parliament has enacted 49
cardinal laws 1 (in one and a half years);
AI. whereas a number of issues, such as specific aspects of family law and the tax and pension
systems, which usually fall under the ordinary decision -making powers of a legislature,
are regulated by cardinal laws;
Accelerated legislative procedures, practice of individual members’ bills, parliamentary
debate
AJ. whereas important legislation, including the Fundamental Law, the second and fourth
amendments thereto, the Transitional Provisions of the Fundamental Law and a number of
cardinal laws, were enacted on the basis of individual members’ bills, to which the rules
set out in Act CXXXI of 2010 on the participation of civil society in the preparation of
1 These laws include cardinal laws all provisions of which require a two -thirds majority,
cardinal laws specific provisions of which have to be adopted by simple majority and acts
the specific provisions of which req uire a two -thirds majority of the Members of
Parliament present.

legislation and in Decree 24/2011 of the Minister of Public Administration and Justice on
preliminary and ex -post impact assessment do not apply, with the consequence that
legislation adopted through this streamlined procedure is subject to a restricted public
debate;
AK. whereas the adoption of a large number of cardinal laws i n a very short time frame,
including the acts on the legal status and remuneration of judges of Hungary and on the
organisation and administration of courts of Hungary, as well as the acts on the freedom
of religion or belief and on the National Bank of Hu ngary, inevitably restricted the
possibilities for an adequate consultation of the opposition parties and civil society,
including, when relevant, employers’ organisations, trade unions and interest groups;
AL. whereas Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Ass embly has vested the Speaker of the
Parliament with extensive discretionary power to limit MPs’ free expression in the
parliament;
Weakening of checks and balances: Constitutional Court, Parliament, Data Protection
Authority
AM. whereas, under the Fundamen tal Law, the possibility for two new kinds of constitutional
complaint to the Constitutional Court has been introduced, while the actio popularis for
ex post review has been abolished;
AN. whereas Law LXXII of 2013 on the creation of new rules and regulations relating to the
oversight of national security was published on 3 June 2013; whereas this law has raised
concerns, expressed notably by Hungary’s Deputy Attorney -General, with regard to
respect for the principle of the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary,
respect for private and family life and the right to an effective remedy;
AO. whereas under the Fundamental Law the Constitutional Court’s powers of ex post review
of the constitutionality of budget -related laws from a subst antive point of view have been
substantially limited to violations of an exhaustive list of rights, thus obstructing the
review of constitutionality in cases of breaches of other fundamental rights such as the
right to property, the right to a fair trial a nd the right not to be discriminated against;
AP. whereas the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law left untouched the already
existing right of the Constitutional Court to review amendments to the Fundamental Law
on procedural grounds, and whereas it ex cludes the Court being able in the future to
review constitutional amendments on substantive grounds;
AQ. whereas the Constitutional Court, in its abovementioned Decision 45/2012, held that
‘Constitutional legality has not only procedural, formal and publi c law validity
requirements, but also substantial ones. The constitutional criteria of a democratic State
under the rule of law are at the same time constitutional values, principles and
fundamental democratic freedoms enshrined in international treaties a nd accepted and
acknowledged by communities of democratic States under the rule of law, as well as the
ius cogens , which is partly the same as the foregoing. As appropriate, the
Constitutional Court may even examine the free enforcement and the constitutio nalisation
of the substantial requirements, guarantees and values of democratic States under the rule
of law.’ (Point IV.7 of the Decision);

AR. whereas the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law further stipulates that the rulings
of the Constitutional C ourt adopted before the entry into force of the Fundamental Law
shall be repealed, and by doing so explicitly contradicts the Constitutional Court’s
Decision No 22/2012 in which the Court established that its statements made on
fundamental values, human ri ghts and freedoms and on the constitutional institutions that
have not been changed fundamentally by the Fundamental Law remain valid; whereas the
Fourth Amendment reintroduced into the Fundamental Law a number of provisions
previously declared unconstitut ional by the Constitutional Court;
AS. whereas a non -parliamentary body, the Budget Council, with limited democratic
legitimacy, has been granted the power to veto the adoption of the general budget, thus
restricting the scope for action of the democratica lly elected legislature and allowing the
President of the Republic to dissolve the parliament;
AT. whereas the new Freedom of Information Act, adopted in July 2011, abolished the
institution of the Commissioner on Data Protection and Freedom of Information , thus
prematurely terminating the six -year -long mandate of the Commissioner and transferring
its powers to the newly established National Authority for Data Protection ; whereas such
changes are currently under review by the Court of Justice of the Europea n Union;
AU. whereas the Commission initiated an infringement procedure against Hungary on 8 June
2012, declaring that Hungary had failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 95/46/EC
by removing the data protection supervisor from office before the e nd of the mandate,
thus putting at risk the independence of the office;
Independence of the judiciary
AV. whereas, according to the Fundamental Law and its Transitional Provisions, the
six -year -long mandate of the former President of the Supreme Court (ren amed the
‘Kúria’) was prematurely ended after two years;
AW . whereas on 2 July 2012 Hungary amended the cardinal laws on the judiciary (Act CLXI
of 2011 on the Organisation and Administration of Courts and Act CLXII of 2011 on the
Legal Status and Remuneration of Judges), partly implementing the recommendations of
the Venice Commission;
AX. whereas key safeguards for judicial independence, such as irremovability, guaranteed
term of office and the structure and composition of the governing bodies, ar e not regulated
by the Fundamental Law but are – together with detailed rules on the organisation and
administration of the judiciary – still set out in the amended cardinal laws,
AY. whereas the independence of the Constitutional Court is not set forth in the Fundamental
Law of Hungary and neither is the independence of the administration of the judiciary;
AZ. whereas the amendment of the cardinal laws on the judiciary as regards the power of the
President of the National Judicial Office to transfer cases from the presiding court to
another court to ensure the adjudication of cases within a reasonable period of time fails to
lay down objective normative criteria for the selection of the cases to be transferred;
BA . whereas, following the entry into force of the Fundamental Law, its Transitional
Provisions and cardinal Act No CLXII of 2011 on the legal status and remuneration of

judges, the mandatory retirement age for judges was reduced from 70 to 62 years of age;
BB. whereas the Decision of the Court of Jus tice of the European Union, adopted on
6 November 2012, states that the radical lowering of the retirement age for Hungarian
judges, as well as prosecutors and notaries, from 70 to 62 constitutes unjustified
discrimination on grounds of age, and whereas tw o complaints were submitted by two
groups of Hungarian judges to the ECtHR on 20 June 2012 seeking a ruling to establish
that Hungary’s legislation on lowering the retirement age for judges violates the ECHR;
BC. whereas on 11 March 2013 the Hungarian Parl iament adopted Act No XX of 2013
amending the upper age limits with a view to partly complying with the rulings of the
Hungarian Constitutional Court of 16 July 2012 and of the Court of Justice of the
European Union of 6 November 2012;
The electoral reform
BD. whereas the governing majority in parliament reformed the election system in a unilateral
manner without striving for consensus with the opposition,
BE. whereas as part of the recent electoral reform the Hungarian Parliament passed, on
26 November 201 2, on the basis of an individual member’s bill, the Act on the election
procedure, which aimed to replace the previous automatic voter registration of all citizens
resident in Hungary by a system of voluntary registration as a condition for exercising the
individual’s right to vote,
BF. whereas the Second Amendment to the Fundamental Law enshrining the requirement of
voter registration was tabled as an individual member’s bill on the same day as the draft
law on the election procedure, namely on 18 Septembe r 2012, and was adopted on
29 October 2012,
BG. whereas the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR prepared a joint opinion on the
Act on the Election of Members of Parliament of Hungary on 15 and 16 June 2012,
BH. whereas, following the petition of the Pres ident of the Republic of 6 December 2012, the
Constitutional Court established that the registration requirement represents an undue
restriction on the voting rights of Hungarian residents, and is therefore unconstitutional,
BI. whereas, while considering voter registration for citizens residing abroad as justified, the
Constitutional Court in its decision of 4 January 2013 further held that exclusion of the
possibility of personal registration of voters without an address living in Hungary is
discriminator y and that the provisions allowing the publication of political advertisements
only in the public media service during the electoral campaign, and the rules banning the
publication of public opinion polls within six days of the elections, disproportionally limit
freedom of expression and freedom of the press,
Media legislation
BJ. whereas the European Union is founded on the values of democracy and the rule of law,
and consequently guarantees and promotes freedom of expression and information as
enshrined i n Article 11 of the Charter and Article 10 of the ECHR, and whereas these
rights include the freedom to express opinions and the freedom to receive and

communicate information without control, interference or pressure from public
authorities ;
BK. whereas t he ECtHR has ruled that there is a positive obligation on Member States to
ensure media pluralism, arising from Article 10 ECHR, and whereas the Convention’s
provisions are similar to those contained in Article 11 of the Charter as part of the acquis
commu nautaire ;
BL. whereas an autonomous and strong public sphere, based on independent and pluralistic
media, constitutes the necessary environment in which the collective freedoms of civil
society – such as the right of assembly and association – as well as individual freedoms –
such as the right to freedom of expression and the right of access to information – can
thrive, and whereas journalists should be free from the pressure of owners, managers and
governments, as well as from financial threats ;
BM . where as the Council of Europe and the OSCE, through declarations, resolutions,
recommendations, opinions and reports on the subjects of media freedom, pluralism and
concentration, have created a significant body of common pan -European minimum
standards in this field;
BN. whereas Member States have a duty constantly to promote and protect freedom of
opinion, expression, information and the media, and whereas, should these freedoms be
placed at serious risk or violated in a Member State, the Union is obliged to intervene in a
timely and effective fashion, on the basis of its competences as enshrined in the Treaties
and in the Charter, to protect the European democratic and pluralistic order and
fundamental rights;
BO. whereas Parliament has repeatedly expressed i ts concerns about media freedom, pluralism
and concentration in the EU and its Member States;
BP. whereas criticism of a number of provisions of Hungarian media legislation has been
voiced by Parliament and the Commission, the OSCE Representative on Freedo m of the
Media and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as by the
Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion
of right to freedom of opinion and expression, and by a large number of interna tional and
national journalists’ organisations, editors and publishers, NGOs active in the area of
human rights and civil liberties, and Member States;
BQ. whereas criticism has been levelled which relates mainly to the adoption of legislation
under the pa rliamentary procedure of individual members’ bills, the highly hierarchical
structure of media supervision, the managerial authority of the Chairperson of the
Regulatory Authority, the lack of provisions ensuring the independence of the Authority,
the exte nsive supervisory and sanctioning power of the Authority, the considerable impact
of certain provisions on the content of programming, the lack of media -specific
regulation, the lack of transparency in the bidding process for licences, and the vagueness
of norms potentially conducive to arbitrary application and enforcement;
BR. whereas in its resolution of 10 March 2011 on media law in Hungary Parliament stressed
that the Hungarian media law should be suspended as a matter of urgency and reviewed
on the ba sis of the comments and proposals of the Commission, the OSCE and the
Council of Europe, and whereas Parliament urged the Commission to continue the close

monitoring and assessment of the conformity of the Hungarian media law, as amended,
with European leg islation, and particularly with the Charter;
BS. whereas the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe has stressed the
need to amend the legislation in order to tackle encroachments on the freedom of the
media such as prescriptions as to what information and coverage must emanate from all
media providers, the imposition of penalties on the media, pre -emptive restraints on press
freedom in the form of registration requirements and exceptions to the protection of
journalists’ sources, and wherea s, regarding the independence and pluralism of the media,
he has expressed the need to address issues such as weakened constitutional guarantees of
pluralism, lack of independence in media regulatory bodies, lack of safeguards for the
independence of publi c service broadcasting and the absence of an effective domestic
remedy for media actors subject to decisions of the Media Council;
BT. whereas the Commission has raised concerns regarding the conformity of the Hungarian
media law with the Audiovisual Medi a Services Directive and the acquis communautaire
in general, notably in relation to the obligation to offer balanced coverage applicable to all
audiovisual media service providers, and has also questioned whether that law complies
with the principle of pr oportionality and respects the fundamental right to freedom of
expression and information enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter, the country of origin
principle and registration requirements, and whereas, in March 2011, following
negotiations with the Com mission, the Hungarian Parliament amended the law to address
the points raised by the Commission;
BU. whereas the OSCE has expressed serious reservations regarding the material and
territorial scope of Hungarian legislation, the politically homogeneous com position of the
Media Authority and Media Council, the disproportionate penalties imposed, the lack of
an automatic procedure for suspending penalties in the event of an appeal to the courts
against a Media Authority ruling, the violation of the principle of the confidentiality of
journalistic sources and the protection of family values;
BV. whereas the OSCE recommendations 1 included deleting the legal requirements on
balanced coverage and other content prescriptions from the laws, safeguarding editorial
independence, ensuring that different rules regulate different forms of media – print,
broadcast and online –, deleting registration requirements deemed excessive, ensuring that
the regulatory body is independent and competent, ensuring objectivity and plura lity in
the process of appointment of organs governing the media sector, refraining from placing
print media under the jurisdiction of the regulatory body and effectively encouraging self –
regulation;
BW . whereas, despite the fact that the laws were amended in 2011 following negotiations with
the European Commission and in May 2012 further to the decision of the Constitutional
Court of December 2011 overturning several provisions as unconstitutional regarding the
content regulation of the printed press, the protection of the sources of journalists, the
requirement of data provision, and the institution of the Media and Telecommunications
Commissioner, the OSCE Representative on freedom of the Media has deplored the fact
1 Legal analysis sent to the Hungarian Government on 28 February 2011
https://www.osce.org/fom/75990
See also the analysis and assessment of Sept ember 2010: https://www.osce.org/fom/71218

that several amendments were introduced and adopted at short notice without consulting
stakeholders and that fundamental elements in the legislation have not been improved,
notably the appointment of the president and members of the Media Authority and Media
Council, their power over content in the broadcast media, the imposition of high fines and
the lack of safeguards on the financial and editorial independence of public broadcasters;
BX. Whereas, while welcoming the amendments to the media legislation adopted in March
2011, the UN Special Rap porteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom
of opinion and expression has highlighted the need to address remaining concerns
pertaining to regulation of media content, insufficient guarantees to ensure the
independence and impartiality of the Media Authority, excessive fines and other
administrative sanctions, applicability of the media legislation to all types of media,
including the press and the internet, registration requirements, and lack of sufficient
protection of journalistic sou rces;
BY. whereas an analysis by Council of Europe experts 1 (which assessed compliance of the
Media Acts as proposed for amendment in 2012 with Council of Europe standard -setting
texts in the field of media and freedom of expression) recommended that speci fic
provisions on registration and transparency, content regulation, obligations on news
coverage, protection of sources, public service media and regulatory bodies be thoroughly
revised, clarified or in some cases eliminated;
BZ. whereas, further to the d ialogue conducted with the EU and the Secretary General of the
Council of Europe through an exchange of letters and expert meetings, further legal
amendments were tabled in February 2013 in order to strengthen and guarantee the
independence of the media re gulatory bodies, notably in respect of the rules relating to the
conditions of the appointment and election of the President of the National Media and
Infocommunications Authority and the Media Council and concerning, respectively, the
nomination procedure , the person making the appointment and repeated appointment;
CA . whereas the Hungarian Authorities have stated their intention of reviewing the rules on
the restrictions in political advertising during electoral campaigns; whereas the Hungarian
Government is in consultation with the European Commission on the issue of political
advertising; whereas, however, the Fourth Amendment imposes a broad and potentially
vague prohibition on speech aimed at violating the dignity of groups, including the
Hungarian nat ion, that may be used to arbitrarily interfere with freedom of expression and
may have a chilling effect on journalists, and also on artists and others;
CB. whereas the National Media and Infocommunications Authority and the Media Council
have not conduct ed assessments of the effects of the legislation on the quality of
journalism, the degrees of editorial freedom and the quality of working conditions for
journalists;
Respect of the rights of persons belonging to minorities
CC. whereas respect for the righ ts of persons belonging to minorities is explicitly recognised
among the values referred to in Article 2 TEU and whereas the Union is committed to
1 Expertise by Council of Europe experts on Hungarian media legislation: ACT CIV of
2010 on the freedom of the press and the fundamental rules on media content and AC T
CLXXXV of 2010 on media services and mass media, 11 May 2012.

promoting these values and combating social exclusion, racism, anti -Semitism and
discrimination;
CD. whereas the right not to suffer discrimination is a fundamental right enshrined in Article
21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
CE. whereas the responsibility of Member States to ensure that the fundamental rights of all
are respected, irrespective of their et hnicity or belief, covers all levels of public
administration as well as the law -enforcement authorities, and also implies actively
promoting tolerance and firmly condemning phenomena such as racial violence and
anti -Semitic and anti -Roma hate speech, part icularly when it is expressed in official or
public forums, including the Hungarian Parliament;
CF. whereas the lack of reaction by the law -enforcement authorities in cases of racially
motivated crime 1 has resulted in mistrust of the police forces;
CG. whe reas it is noteworthy that the Hungarian Parliament has enacted legislation in criminal
and civil areas to combat racial incitement and hate speech;
CH. whereas, although intolerance against the members of Roma and Jewish communities is
not a problem solely associated with Hungary, and whereas other Member States are
faced with the same issue, recent events have raised concerns as to the increase in anti –
Roma and anti -Semitic hate speech in Hungary;
CI. whereas the imposition of retroactive tax and pensions legislation has increased social
vulnerability and poverty on a massive scale, a fact which is not only causing great
uncertainty among the people, but also constitutes a violation of private ownership rights
and undermines fundamental civil liberties;
Freedom of religion or belief and recognition of churches
CJ. whereas freedom of thought, conscience and religion as enshrined in Article 9 of the
ECHR and Article 10 of the Charter is one of the foundations of a democratic society, and
whereas the role of the State in this area should be that of a neutral and impartial
guarantor of the right to exercise different religions, faiths and beliefs;
CK. whereas t he Act on Churches established a new legal regime for the regulation of
religious associations and churches in Hungary, which imposed a set of requirements for
the recognition of churches and made such recognition conditional on prior approval by
the parli ament by a two -thirds majority;
CL. whereas the obligation set out in the Act on Churches to obtain recognition by the
parliament as a condition for the establishment of a church was deemed by the Venice
Commission 2 to be a restriction of the freedom of re ligion;
CM . whereas as a result of the entry into force of retroactive provisions of the Act on Churches
1 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (A/HRC/20/33/Add. 1) 2 Venice Commission Opinion 664/2012 of 19 March 2012 on Act CCVI of 2011 on the
right to freedom of conscience and religion and the legal status of churches,
denominations and religious communities of Hungary (CDL -AD(2012)004).

more than 300 registered churches lost their legal status of church;
CN. whereas, at the request of several religious communities and the Hungarian Commissioner
for Fundamental Rights, the Constitutional Court examined the constitutionality of the
provisions of the Act on Churches and in its Decision 6/2013 of 26 February 2013
declared some of them unconstitutional and annulled them with retroactive effect;
CO. whereas in that Decision the Constitutional Court, while not questioning the right of the
parliament to specify the substantive conditions for recognition as a church, c onsidered
that the recognition of church status by a vote in parliament might result in politically
biased decisions, and whereas the Constitutional Court declared that the Act did not
contain any obligation to provide detailed reasons for a decision which refuses recognition
of church status, that no deadlines were specified for the parliament’s actions and that the
Act did not provide the possibility of effective legal remedy in cases of refusal or lack of a
decision;
CP. whereas the Fourth Amendment to t he Fundamental Law, adopted two weeks after the
decision of the Constitutional Court, amended Article VII of the Fundamental Law and
elevated to the level of the constitution the power of the parliament to pass cardinal laws
in order to recognise certain o rganisations engaged in religious activities as churches, thus
overruling the Constitutional Court’s decision;
II- ASSESSMENT
The Fundamental Law of Hungary and its implementation
1. Recalls that respect for legality, including a transparent, accountable a nd democratic
process of enacting laws, including when adopting a Fundamental Law, and for a strong
system of representative democracy based on free elections and respecting the rights of
the opposition are key elements of the concepts of democracy and the rule of law as
enshrined in Article 2 TEU, which provides that ‘the Union is founded on the values of
respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for
human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minor ities. These values are
common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non -discrimination,
tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail’, and as
proclaimed in the Preambles to both the Treaty on the European Union and the Charter;
regrets that, from the point of view of protecting European core values, the EU institutions
have not always managed in the past to live up to their own standards; maintains,
therefore, that it falls to them in particular to take a stand in order to safeguard European
fundamental rights as referred to in Article 2 TEU, both at Union level and in the Member
States;
2. Firmly reiterates that, while the drafting and adoption of a new constitution fall within the
scope of Member States’ compet ences, the Member States and the EU have a
responsibility to ensure that the constitutional processes and the content of constitutions
comply with the commitments entered into by every Member State under the EU
Accession Treaties, that is to say, with the common values of the Union, the Charter and
the ECHR;
3. Regrets the fact that the process of drafting and adopting the Fundamental Law of
Hungary lacked the transparency, openness, inclusiveness and, ultimately, the consensual

basis that could be expected in a modern democratic constituent process, thus weakening
the legitimacy of the Fundamental Law itself,
4. Takes note of the abovementioned Decision of 28 December 2012 of the Constitutional
Court declaring that the Hungarian Parliament exceeded its leg islative authority when it
enacted a number of permanent and general rules in the Transitional Provisions of the
Fundamental Law, inter alia , that ‘it is the task and the responsibility of the constituent
power to clear up the situation after the partial a nnulment. The Parliament shall make an
evident and clear legal situation’, while adding the requirement that this shall not mean the
automatic insertion of the annulled provisions into the Fundamental Law without any
distinction, because the parliament ‘mu st review the regulatory subjects of the annulled
non -transitional provisions, and it has to decide about which ones need repeated
regulation, on what level of the sources of law. It is also the duty of the Parliament to
select the provisions – to be regul ated repeatedly – that need to be placed in the
Fundamental Law, and the ones that require regulation in an Act of Parliament’;
5. Strongly criticises the provisions of the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law,
which undermine the supremacy of the Fund amental Law by reintroducing into its text a
number of rules previously declared unconstitutional – i.e. incompatible on procedural or
substantive grounds with the Fundamental Law – by the Constitutional Court;
6. Recalls that in its abovementioned Decisio n of 28 December 2012, the Constitutional
Court gave a clear ruling on standards of constitutionality by declaring that ‘in democratic
States under the rule of law, constitutions have constant substantial and procedural
standards and requirements. The subs tantial and procedural constitutional requirements
shall not be set lower in the era of the Fundamental Law than they were at the time of the
Constitution (Act). The requirements of a constitutional State under the rule of law
continue to be constantly enf orced requirements in the present and they are programmes
for the future. The constitutional State under the rule of law is a system of constant values,
principles and guarantees’; considers this clear -cut, dignified statement to be applicable to
the Europ ean Union and all its Member States;
7. Recalls that the common Union values of democracy and the rule of law require a strong
system of representative democracy based on free elections and respecting the rights of
the opposition, and that, according to Ar ticle 3 of Protocol 1 to the ECHR, elections
should guarantee the ‘expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the
legislator’;
8. Considers that while the use of two -third majority laws is common in other Member
States and has been a feature of the Hungarian constitutional and legal order since 1989,
the extensive use of cardinal laws to set forth very specific and detailed rules undermines
the principles of democracy and the rule of law, as it has enabled the current government,
which enjoys the support of a qualified majority, to set in stone political choices with the
consequence of making it more difficult for any new future government having only a
simple majority in the parliament to respond to social changes, and thus of potentially
dimi nishing the importance of new elections; considers that such use should be re –
evaluated, in order to ensure that future governments and parliamentary majorities are
allowed to legislate in a meaningful and comprehensive manner;
9. Considers that use of the individual members’ bills procedure to implement the
constitution (through cardinal laws) does not constitute a transparent, accountable and

democratic legislative process, as it lacks the guarantees of ensuring meaningful social
debate and consultation, and that it could run counter to Fundamental Law itself, which
makes it an obligation for the government (and not individual members) to submit to the
parliament the bills necessary for the implementation of the Fundamental Law;
10. Takes note of the opini on of the Venice Commission (No CDL -AD(2011)016) which
‘welcomes the fact that this new Constitution establishes a constitutional order based on
democracy, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights as underlying
principles’; further takes no te of the opinion of the Venice Commission (No CDL –
AD(2012)001) according to which the adoption of a large amount of legislation in a very
short time frame could explain why some of the new provisions do not comply with
European standards; further takes no te of the opinion of the Venice Commission on the
Fourth Amendment to the Hungarian Fundamental Law (No CDL -AD(2013)012) stating
that ‘the Fourth Amendment itself brings about or perpetuates shortcomings in the
constitutional system of Hungary’;
11. Welcom es the fact that the Fundamental Law of Hungary reiterates and reaffirms the
articles of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and that
Hungary, as the fourth country in the EU, in Article H recognises Hungarian sign
language (HSL) a s a fully fledged language and defends HSL as part of Hungarian
culture;
12. Welcomes the fact that, in its Article XV, the Fundamental Law of Hungary specifically
prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, gender, disability, language,
relig ion, political or other views, national or social origin, or financial, birth or other
circumstances, and stipulates that Hungary will adopt special measures to protect children,
women, the elderly and persons living with disabilities, in accordance with A rticles 20 to
26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
Democratic system of checks and balances
13. Recalls that democracy and the rule of law require a separation of powers among
independent institutions based on a properly functioni ng system of checks and balances
and effective control of the conformity of legislation with the constitution;
14. Recalls that the constitutional majority raised the number of constitutional judges from 11
to 15 and abolished the requirement to reach agreement with the opposition regarding the
election of constitutional judges; is concerned that as a result of these measures eight out
of the current 15 constitutional judges were elected exclusively by the two -thirds majority
(with one exception), inclu ding two new members who were appointed directly from their
position as members of parliament.
15. Welcomes the introduction of a possibility for two new types of constitutional complaint
to the Constitutional Court and understands that a democratic system that is founded on
the rule of law does not necessarily need a constitutional court in order to function
properly; recalls, however, Opinion No CDL -AD (2011)016 of the Venice Commission,
which notes that in states that have opted for a constitutional cour t, this court should be
entitled to assess the compliance of all laws with the human rights guaranteed in the
constitution; considers, therefore, that the limitation of constitutional jurisdiction relating
to the laws on the central budget and taxes weaken s the institutional and procedural
guarantees for the protection of a number of constitutional rights and for the control of the

parliament’s and the government’s powers in the budgetary field;
16. Recalls that, as declared by the Constitutional Court in its Decision No 45/2012,
‘Constitutional legality has not only procedural, formal and public law validity
requirements, but also substantial ones […]. As appropriate, the Constitutional Court may
even examine the free enforcement and the constitutionalis ation of the substantial
requirements, guarantees and values of democratic States under the rule of law’;
17. Considers that, in light of the systematic amending of the Fundamental Law at political
will, the Constitutional Court can no longer fulfil its r ole as the supreme body of
constitutional protection, especially since the Fourth Amendment explicitly prohibits the
Court from reviewing constitutional amendments that contradict other constitutional
requirements and principles;
18. Taking account of the right of a democratically elected parliament to adopt law in line
with fundamental rights, with respect for political minorities, and with a democratically
adequate and transparent procedure, and of the duty courts, both ordinary and
constitutional, to saf eguard the compatibility of the laws with the constitution, underlines
the importance of the principle of separation of powers and a properly functioning system
of checks and balances; is concerned in this connection about the shift of powers in
constitut ional matters to the advantage of the parliament and to the detriment of the
Constitutional Court, which undermines severely the principle of separation of powers
and a properly functioning system of checks and balances, which are key corollaries of the
rule of law; welcomes in this regard the Eger joint statement of 16 May 2013 by the
Presidents of the Hungarian and Romanian Constitutional Courts, Péter Paczolay and
Augustin Zegrean, stressing that constitutional courts bear a special responsibility in
cou ntries ruled by a two -thirds majority;
19. Is also extremely concerned about those provisions of the Fourth Amendment which
repeal 20 years of constitutional jurisprudence, containing an entire system of founding
principles and constitutional requirements, including any potential case law affecting the
application of EU law and of European human rights law; notes that the Court already
used its previous decisions as a source of interpretation; is concerned, however, at the fact
that other courts may not be able to base their decisions upon the previous case law of the
Constitutional Court;
20. Is also concerned about the conformity with EU law of the provision of the Fourth
Amendment which enables the Hungarian Government to impose a special tax in order to
implement EU Court of Justice judgments entailing payment obligations when the state
budget does not have sufficient funding available and when the public debt exceeds half
of the gross domestic product; takes note of the ongoing dialogue between the Hunga rian
Government and the European Commission on the issue;
21. Criticises the accelerated process for enacting important laws, as it undermines the rights
of the opposition parties to be effectively involved in the legislative process, thus limiting
their s crutiny of the majority’s and the government’s action and, ultimately, negatively
affecting the system of checks and balances;
22. Is concerned about several provisions of Law LXXII of 2013 on the creation of new rules
and regulations relating to the ove rsight of national security, as they could potentially
have a negative effect on the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary,

respect for private and family life and the right to an effective remedy;
23 . Recalls that the independence of dat a protection authorities is guaranteed by Article 16
TFEU and Article 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;
24. Stresses that protection against removal from office during the term of office is an
essential element of the requirement for independence of national data protection
authorities under EU law;
25. Points out that the Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Hungary
over the legality of the termination of the mandate of the former Commissioner for Data
Protection, as regards t he adequate independence of such body, which case is currently
pending before the European Court of Justice;
26. Deplores the fact that the abovementioned institutional changes resulted in a clear
weakening of the systems of checks and balances required by the rule of law and the
democratic principle of the separation of powers;
Independence of the judiciary
27. Recalls that independence of the judiciary is required by Article 47 of the Charter of
Fundamental Rights and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and is an
essential requirement of the democratic principle of the separation of powers derived from
Article 2 TEU;
28. Recalls that the Constitutional Court, in its abovementioned Decision 33/2012, described
the independence of the judici ary and judges as an achievement of the historical
constitution of Hungary, when it declared that the ‘ principle of judicial independence,
with all of its elements, is an achievement beyond doubt. Therefore the Constitutional
Court establishes that judicia l independence, and the resulting principle of irremovability,
is not only a normative rule of the Fundamental Law, but also an achievement of the
historical constitution. Thus it is an interpreting principle obligatory to everybody, based
on the provision s of the Fundamental Law, and which is to be applied also in the course of
exploring other potential contents of the Fundamental Law’ 1;
29. Stresses that the effective safeguarding of the independence of the judiciary forms the
basis of democracy in Europe and is a prerequisite for consolidating mutual trust between
the judicial authorities of the various Member States and, in consequence, smooth
cross -border cooperation in the common area of justice, based on the principle of mutual
recognition as enshrine d in Articles 81 TFEU (civil matters) and 82 TFEU (criminal
matters);
30 . Regrets the fact that the numerous measures adopted – as well as some ongoing reforms –
do not provide sufficient assurances of constitutional safeguards as to the independence of
the judiciary and the independence of the Constitutional Court of Hungary;
31. Considers that the premature termination of the term of office of the Supreme Court’s
President violates the guarantee of security of tenure, which is a key element of the
indepen dence of the judiciary;
1 Point (80) of the decision.

32. Welcomes the abovementioned Decision 33/2012 of the Constitutional Court declaring
the compulsory termination of the service of judges at the age of 62 unconstitutional, as
well as the abovementioned decision of the Court of Jus tice of the EU of 6 November
2012, which held that the radical lowering of the retirement age of judges in Hungary
constitutes unjustified discrimination on grounds of age and is therefore in breach of
Council Directive 2000/78/EC;
33. Welcomes the amendme nts to Act CLXI of 2011 on the organisation and administration
of courts of Hungary and Act CLXII of 2011 on the legal status and remuneration of
judges of Hungary, adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 2 July 2012, which address
many of the concerns expr essed in the European Parliament’s resolution of 16 February
2012 and by the Venice Commission in its opinion;
34. Regrets, however, that not all the recommendations of the Venice Commission have been
implemented, in particular as regards the need to limit discretionary powers of the
President of the National Judicial Office in the context of the transfer of cases, which
potentially affect the right to a fair trial and the right of a lawful judge; takes note of the
expression of intent by the Hungarian Gove rnment to review the system of transfer of
cases; believes that the recommendations of the Venice Commission in this regard should
be implemented;
35. Welcomes the adoption of Act XX of 2013 on the legislative amendments relating to the
upper age limit app licable in certain judicial legal relations, which sets the retirement age
of judges at 65 at the end of a transitional period of 10 years, and arranges for the
reinstatement of those judges unlawfully dismissed;
36. Regrets, however, that in the case of presiding judges, Act XX of 2013 provides for their
reinstatement in their original executive posts only if these judicial positions are still
vacant, with the consequence that only a few unlawfully dismissed judges are guaranteed
to be reinstated in exact ly the same position with the same duties and responsibilities they
held before their dismissal;
37. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a permanent scoreboard on justice in all 27 EU
Member States as put forward by Vice -President Reding, which shows th at safeguarding
the independence of the judiciary is a general concern of the EU; underlines the fact that
in some Member States serious concerns might be raised on these issues; calls for an
enlargement of the justice scoreboard also to cover criminal jus tice, fundamental rights,
the rule of law and democracy, as already requested;
38. Acknowledges the professionalism and dedication of the Hungarian judicial community
and its commitment to the rule of law, and recalls that since the start of the democrati c
process in Hungary the Constitutional Court has been recognised as an outstanding
constitutional body throughout Europe and the world;
The electoral reform
39. Recalls that the redrawing of electoral districts, the adoption of the Act on the election of
members of parliament of Hungary and the electoral procedural law considerably change
the legal and institutional framework for the next elections due in 2014, an d therefore
regrets that these laws were adopted unilaterally by the ruling parties, with no broad
consultation of the opposition.

40 . Is concerned that in the present political environment the current provisions for the
procedure to appoint the members of the National Election Committee do not adequately
guarantee balanced representation and the committee’s independence;
41. Welcomes the fact that the Hungarian authorities requested the opinion of the Venice
Commission on the Act on the Election of Members of Parliament of Hungary on 20
January 2012; considers however that a comprehensive analysis is needed in order to
evaluate the fundamentally changed electoral landscape.
42. Welcomes the fact that Act XXXVI of 2013 on the election procedure in Hungary,
specifically Article 42, prescribes that, upon request, people with disabilities must be
provided with instructions in braille, relevant information in easy -to-read form, voting
samples in braille at polls, full accessibility of polls, including particular attention to the
needs of the wheelchair users; in addition, on the basis of Article 50 of the
abovementioned Act, disabled voters can ask to be registered at another, more accessible,
polling station in order to cast their votes in the given constituency, in accordance with the
obligation to provide at least one fully accessible polling station in every constituency laid
down in Article 81;
Media pluralism
43. Acknowledges the efforts of the Hungarian authorities that led to legislative changes
aimed at ad dressing a number of the shortcomings identified in order to improve media
legislation and bring it into line with EU and Council of Europe standards;
44. Welcomes the continuing constructive dialogue with international actors, and stresses that
the cooper ation between the Council of Europe and the Hungarian Government has borne
tangible results, as reflected in Act XXXIII of 2013, which addresses some of the
concerns previously highlighted in the legal assessments of media legislation, notably in
relation to the appointment and election procedures of the presidents of the Media
Authority and the Media Council; recalls, however, that there are still concerns regarding
the independence of the media authority;
45. Expresses concern at the effects of the provi sion of the Fourth Amendment banning
political advertising in the commercial media since, although the stated aim of this
provision is to reduce political campaign costs and create equal opportunities for the
parties, it jeopardises the provision of balanc ed information ; takes note that the Hungarian
Government is in consultation with the European Commission on the issue of the rules on
political advertising; takes note that restrictions also exist in other European countries;
takes note of the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Fourth amendment to the
Hungarian Fundamental Law (No CDL -AD(2013) 012), which states that “limits on
political advertising have to be seen against the legal background of the particular
Member State” and that “the prohibition of any political advertising in commercial media
services, which are more widely used in Hungary than the public service media, will
deprive the opposition of an important chance to air their views effectively and thus to
counterweigh the dominant position of the government in the media coverage”;
46. Reiterates its call on the Hungarian authorities to take action in order to make or
commission regular proactive assessments of the impact of legislat ion on the media
environment (reduction in the quality of journalism, instances of self -censorship,
restriction of editorial freedom and erosion of the quality of working conditions and job

security for journalists);
47. Deplores the fact that the creatio n of the state -owned Hungarian News Agency (MTI) as
the single news provider for public service broadcasters, while all major private
broadcasters are expected to have their own news service, has meant it has a virtual
monopoly on the market, as most of it s news items are freely available; recalls the
recommendation of the Council of Europe to eliminate the obligation on public
broadcasters to use the national news agency, as it constitutes an unreasonable and unfair
restriction on the plurality of news pro vision;
48. Notes that the national competition authority needs to make regular assessments of the
media environments and markets, highlighting potential threats to pluralism;
49. Stresses that measures to regulate the access of media outlets to the market through
broadcast licensing and authorising procedures, rules on the protection of state, national or
military security and public order and rules on public morality should not be abused for
purposes of imposing political or partisan control or censorship on the media, and
underlines the fact that a proper balance needs to be ensured in this respect;
50 . Is concerned that public service broadcasting is controlled by an extremely centralised
institutional system, which takes the real operational decisions without public scrutiny;
stresses that biased and opaque tendering practices and the biased information put out by
the public -service broadcasting that reaches a wide audience distort the media market;
underlines the fact that, in line with Protocol No 29 to the Lisbon Treaty (on the System
of the Public Broadcasting in the Members States), the system of public broadcasting in
the Member States is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each
society and to the need to preserve media pluralism;
51. Recalls that content regulations should be clear, allowing citizens and media companies to
foresee in which cases they will be infringing the law and to determine the legal
consequences of possible violations; notes with concern that, in s pite of such detailed
content regulations, recent public anti -Roma stances have so far gone unpunished by
Hungary’s Media Authority, and calls for balanced application of the law;
Rights of persons belonging to minorities
52. Notes that the Hungarian Parl iament has enacted legislation in criminal and civil areas to
combat racial incitement and hate speech; considers that legislative measures are an
important starting point to achieve the goal of creating a society free from intolerance and
discrimination t hroughout Europe, as concrete measures can only be built upon firm
legislation; points out, however, that legislation needs to be actively implemented;
53. Underlines the fact that the authorities in all Member States have a positive obligation to
act to avoid violation of the rights of persons belonging to minorities, cannot remain
neutral, and should take the necessary legal, educational and political measures when
faced with such violations; notes the 2011 amendment to the Penal Code to prevent
campaign s by extremist groups to intimidate Roma communities, threatening with up to
three years’ imprisonment the 'provocative unsocial behaviour' which induces fear in a
member of a national, ethnic, racial or religious community; acknowledges the role of the
Hu ngarian Government in launching the European Framework of National Roma
Inclusion Strategy during its EU presidency in 2011;

54. Notes with concern repeated changes to the legal order restricting the rights of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, for instance by seeking to exclude
same -sex couples and their children, as well as other varied family structures, from the
definition of ‘family’ in the Fundamental Law; stresses that this runs counter to recent
European Court of Human Rights juri sprudence and fuels a climate of intolerance vis -à-
vis LGBT people;
55. Welcomes the insertion of provisions in the Hungarian Constitution by the Fourth
Amendment stating that “Hungary shall strive to provide every person with decent
housing and access to public services” and that the “State and local governments shall also
contribute to creating the conditions of decent housing by striving to provide
accommodation to all homeless people”; expresses concern, however, at the fact that “in
order to protect pu blic order, public security, public health and cultural values, an Act of
Parliament or a local ordinance may declare illegal staying in a public area as a permanent
abode with respect to a specific part of such public area”, which could lead to
homelessne ss being addressed through the criminal law; recalls that the Hungarian
Constitutional Court had judged that similar measures contained in the Petty Offences
Act were unconstitutional as contrary to human dignity;
Freedom of religion or belief and recogni tion of churches
56. Notes with concern that the changes made to the Fundamental Law by the Fourth
Amendment give the parliament the power to recognise, by way of cardinal laws and
without a constitutional duty to justify a refusal of recognition, certain organisations
engaged in religious activities as churches, which might negatively affect the duty of the
state to remain neutral and impartial in its relations with the various religions and beliefs;
Conclusion
57. Reaffirms that it attaches the utmost imp ortance to respect of the principle of equality
between all Member States and refuses the application of double standards in the
treatment of Member States; stresses that similar situations or legal frameworks and
provisions should be assessed in the same way; takes the view that the pure fact of
changing and adopting laws cannot be considered incompatible with the values of the
Treaties; calls on the Commission to identify instances of incompatibility with EU law
and for the European Court of Justice to ad judicate any such case;
58. Concludes – for the reasons explained above – that the systemic and general trend of
repeatedly modifying the constitutional and legal framework in very short time frames,
and the content of such modifications, are incompatible with the values referred to in
Article 2 TEU, Article 3, paragraph 1, and Article 6 TEU, and deviate from the principles
referred to in Article 4, paragraph 3, TEU; considers that – unless corrected in a timely
and adequate manner – this trend will result in a clear risk of a serious breach of the
values referred to in Article 2 TEU;
III – RECOMMENDATIONS
Preamble
59. Reaffirms that its present resolution is not only about Hungary , but inseparably about the
European Union as a whole, and its democratic reconstruction and development after the

fall of the 20th century totalitarianisms. It is about the European family, its common
values and standards, its inclusiveness and its capaci ty to engage in dialogue. It is about
the need to implement Treaties which all Member States have voluntarily acceded to. It is
about the mutual help and mutual trust that the Union, its citizens and its Member States
need to have if these Treaties are to be not just words on paper, but the legal basis for a
true, just and open Europe respecting fundamental rights;
60 . Shares the idea of a Union which is not only a ‘union of democracies’ but also a ‘Union of
Democracy’, based upon pluralistic societies where respect for human rights and the rule
of law prevail;
61. Reaffirms that while in times of economic and social cr isis one may yield to the
temptation to disregard constitutional principles, the credibility and robustness of
constitutional institutions plays a pivotal role in underpinning economic, fiscal and social
policies and social cohesion;
Appeal to all Member S tates
62. Calls on the Member States to comply without delay with their Treaty obligations to
respect, guarantee, protect and promote the Union’s common values, which is an
indispensable condition for respecting democracy, and thus the substance of Union
citizenship, and for building a culture of mutual trust enabling effective cross -border
cooperation and a genuine area of freedom, security and justice;
63. Considers that it is the moral and legal duty of all Members States, as well as of the Union
instit utions, to defend the European values enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of
Fundamental Rights, and in the European Convention on Human Rights to which every
Member State is a signatory and to which the EU will soon accede;
64. Calls on the national parliaments to enhance their role in monitoring compliance with
fundamental values and to denounce any risks of deterioration of these values that may
occur within the EU borders, with a view to maintaining the credibility of the Union
vis -à-vis third cou ntries, which is based on the seriousness with which the Union and its
Member States take the values they have chosen as foundations;
65. Expects all Member States to take the necessary steps, particularly within the Council of
the European Union, to contr ibute loyally to the promotion of the Union’s values and to
cooperate with Parliament and the Commission in monitoring their observance, especially
in the framework of the ‘Article 2 Trilogue’ referred to in paragraph 85;
Appeal to the European Council
66. Reminds the European Council of its responsibilities within the framework of the area of
freedom, liberty, security and justice;
67. Notes with disappointment that the European Council is the only EU political institution
that has remained silent, while the Commission, Parliament, the Council of Europe, the
OSCE and even the US Administration have voiced concerns over the situation in
Hungary;
68. Considers that the European Council cannot remain inactive in cases where one of the

Member States breaches f undamental rights or implements changes that may negatively
affect the rule of law in that country, and therefore the rule of law in the European Union
at large, in particular when mutual trust in the legal system and judicial cooperation may
be put at ris k, as this has a negative impact on the Union itself;
69. Invites the President of the European Council to inform Parliament of his assessment of
the situation;
Recommendations to the Commission
70 . Calls on the Commission as the guardian of the Treaties and as the body responsible for
ensuring that Union law is correctly applied, under the supervision of the Court of Justice
of the European Union:
– to inform Parliament of its assessment of the Four th Amendment to the Fundamental
Law and its impact on cooperation within the EU;
– to be determined in ensuring full compliance with the common fundamental values
and rights set out in Article 2 TEU, as violations thereof undermine the very
foundations of the Union and mutual trust among Member States;
– to launch objective investigation and start infringement proceedings whenever it
considers that a Member State has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties
and, in particular, is violating the righ ts enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental
Rights of the EU;
– to avoid any double standards in the treatment of Member States, making sure that,
in similar situations, all Member States are treated in a similar manner, thus fully
respecting the principle of equality of the Member States before the Treaties;
– to focus not only on specific infringements of EU law, to be remedied notably
through Article 258 TFEU, but to respond appropriately to a systemic change in the
constitutional and legal system and pra ctice of a Member State where multiple and
recurrent infringements unfortunately result in a state of legal uncertainty, which no
longer meets the requirements of Article 2 TEU;
– to adopt a more comprehensive approach to addressing any potential risks of serious
breaching of fundamental values in a given Member State at an early stage and
immediately to engage in a structured political dialogue with the relevant Member
State and the other EU institutions ; this structured political dialogue should be
coord inated at the highest political level of the Commission and have a clear impact
on the full spectrum of negotiations between the Commission and the Member State
concerned in the various EU fields;
– to create – as soon as risks of violations of Article 2 T EU are identified – an ‘Article
2 TEU/ Alarm Agenda ’, i.e. a Union values monitoring mechanism, to be dealt with
by the Commission with exclusive priority and urgency, coordinated at the highest
political level and taken fully into account in the various E U sectoral policies, until
full compliance with Article 2 TEU is restored and any risks of violation thereof are
defused, as also envisaged in the letter of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of four
Member States raising with the President of the Commission th e need to develop a

new and more effective method of safeguarding fundamental values in order to place
greater emphasis on promoting a culture of respect for the rule of law, taken into
account by the Council conclusions on fundamental rights and rule of l aw and on the
Commission 2012 Report on the Application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights
of the European Union of 6 and 7 June 2013 ;
– to hold meetings at technical level with the services of the Member State concerned
but not to conclude any negotiati ons in policy fields other than Article -2-TEU –
related ones until full compliance with Article 2 TEU has been ensured;
– to apply a horizontal approach involving all the Commission services concerned in
order to ensure respect for the rule of law in all fi elds, including the economic and
social sector ;
– to implement and if necessary update its 2003 communication on Article 7 of the
Treaty on European Union (COM(2003) 0606) and to draw up a detailed proposal for
a swift and independent monitoring mechanism and an early -warning system;
– to regularly monitor the correct functioning of the European area of justice and to
take action when the independence of the judiciary is put at risk in any Member
State, with a view to avoiding the weakening of mutual trust among national judicial
authorities, which would inevitably create obstacles to the correct application of the
EU instruments on mutual recognition and cross -border cooperation;
– to ensure that Member States guarantee correct implementation of the Charter of
Fundamental Rights with respect to media pluralism and equal access to
information;
– to monitor the effective implementation of rules ensuring transparent and fair
procedures for media funding and state advertising and sponsoring allocation, so as
to guarantee that these do not cause interference with freedom of information and
expression, pluralism or editorial lines taken by the media;
– to take appropriate, timely, proportionate and progressive measures where concerns
arise in relation to freedom of expression, information, media freedom and pluralism
in the EU and the Member States on the basis of a detailed and careful analysis of
the situation and of the problems to be solved and the best ways to address them;
– to address these issues in the fram ework of the implementation of the Audiovisual
Media Services Directive in order to improve cooperation between regulatory bodies
of the Member States and the Commission, bringing forward as soon as possible a
revision and amendment of the directive, and n otably of its Articles 29 and 30;
– to continue the dialogue with the Hungarian Government on the conformity with EU
law of the new provision of the Fourth Amendment enabling the Hungarian
Government to impose a special tax in order to implement EU Court o f Justice
judgments entailing payment obligations when the state budget does not have
sufficient funding available and when the public debt exceeds half of the gross
domestic product, and to suggest adequate measures to prevent what may result in a
breach of sincere cooperation as enshrined in Article 4(3) TEU ;

71. Reminds the Commission that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
and the European Union’s forthcoming accession to the European Convention on Human
Rights, reaffirm a new arch itecture for European Union law, a structure with human rights
more than ever at its heart, thus conferring on the Commission, as guardian of the
Treaties, greater responsibilities in this area;
Recommendations to the Hungarian Authorities
72. Urges the Hu ngarian authorities to implement as swiftly as possible all the measures the
European Commission as the guardian of the treaties deems necessary in order to fully
comply with EU law, fully comply with the decisions of the Hungarian Constitutional
Court and implement as swiftly as possible the following recommendations, in line with
the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe and other
international bodies for the protection of the rule of law and fundamental rights, with a
view to fu lly complying with the rule of law and its key requirements on the constitutional
setting, the system of checks and balances and the independence of the judiciary, as well
as on strong safeguards for fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, the
media and religion or belief, protection of minorities, action to combat discrimination, and
the right to property:
On the Fundamental Law:
– to fully restore the supremacy of the Fundamental Law by removing from it those
provisions previously declared un constitutional by the Constitutional Court;
– to reduce the recurrent use of cardinal laws in order to leave policy areas such as
family, social, fiscal and budget matters to ordinary legislation and majorities;
– to implement the recommendations of the V enice Commission and, in particular, to
revise the list of policy areas requiring a qualified majority with a view to ensuring
meaningful future elections;
– to secure a lively parliamentary system which also respects opposition forces by
allowing a reason able time for a genuine debate between the majority and the
opposition and for participation by the wider public in the legislative procedure;
– to ensure the widest possible participation by all parliamentary parties in the
constitutional process, even th ough the relevant special majority is held by the
governing coalition alone;
On checks and balances:
– to fully restore the prerogatives of the Constitutional Court as the supreme body of
constitutional protection, and thus the primacy of the Fundamental Law, by
removing from its text the limitations on the Constitutional Court’s power to review
the constitutionality of any changes to the Fundamental Law, as well as the abolition
of two decades of constitutional case law; to restore the right of the Consti tutional
Court to review all legislation without exception, with a view to counterbalancing
parliamentary and executive actions and ensuring full judicial review; such a judicial
and constitutional review may be exerted in different ways in different Membe r
States, depending on the specificities of each national constitutional history, but

once established, a Constitutional Court – like the Hungarian one, which after the
fall of the communist regime has rapidly built a reputation among Supreme Courts
in Eur ope – should not be subject to measures aimed at reducing its competences
and thus undermining the rule of law;
– to restore the possibility for the judicial system to refer to the case law issued before
the entry into force of the Fundamental Law, in particular in the field of fundamental
rights 1;
– to strive for consensus when electing the members of the Constitutional Court, with
meaningful involvement of the opposition, and to ensure that the members of the
court are free from political influence;
– to restore the prerogatives of the parliament in the budgetary field and thus secure
the full democratic legitimacy of budgetary decisions by removing the restriction of
parliamentary powers by the non -parliamentary Budget Council;
– to cooperate with the European institutions in order to ensure that the provisions of
the new National Security Law comply with the fundamental principles of the
separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, respect for private and
family life and the right to an effective remedy;
– to provide clarifications on how the Hungarian authorities intend to remedy the
premature termination of the term of office of senior officials with a view to
securing the institutional independence of the data protection authority;
On the independence of the judiciary:
– to fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary by ensuring that the principles
of irremovability and guaranteed term of office of judges, the rules governing the
structure and composition of the governing bodies of the judiciary and the
safeguards on the independence of the Constitutional Court are enshrined in the
Fundamental Law;
– to promptly and correctly implement the abovementioned decisions of the Court of
Justice of the European Union of 6 November 2012 an d of the Hungarian
Constitutional Court, by enabling the dismissed judges who so wish to be reinstated
in their previous positions, including those presiding judges whose original
executive posts are no longer vacant;
– to establish objective selection cri teria, or to mandate the National Judicial Council
to establish such criteria, with a view to ensuring that the rules on the transfer of
cases respect the right to a fair trial and the principle of a lawful judge;
– to implement the remaining recommendatio ns laid down in the Venice
Commission’s Opinion No CDL -AD(2012)020 on the cardinal acts on the judiciary
that were amended following the adoption of Opinion CDL -AD(2012)001;
On the electoral reform:
1 See Working Document No 5.

– to invite the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ ODIHR to carry out a joint analysis
of the comprehensively changed legal and institutional framework of the elections
and to invite the ODIHR for a Needs Assessment Mission and a long and short term
election observation.
– to ensure balanced representation within t he National Election Committee;
On the media and pluralism:
– to fulfil the commitment to further discuss cooperation activities at expert level on
the more long -term perspective of the freedom of the media, building on the most
important remaining recomme ndations of the 2012 legal expertise of the Council of
Europe;
– to ensure timely and close involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including media
professionals, opposition parties and civil society, in any further review of this
legislation, which regu lates such a fundamental aspect of the functioning of a
democratic society, and in the process of implementation;
– to observe the positive obligation arising from European Court of Human Rights
jurisprudence under Article 10 ECHR to protect freedom of exp ression as one of the
preconditions for a functioning democracy;
– to respect, guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental right to freedom of
expression and information, as well as media freedom and pluralism, and to refrain
from developing or supporti ng mechanisms that threaten media freedom and
journalistic and editorial independence;
– to make sure that objective, legally binding procedures and mechanisms are in place
for the selection and appointment of heads of public media, management boards,
medi a councils and regulatory bodies, in line with the principles of independence,
integrity, experience and professionalism, representation of the entire political and
social spectrum, legal certainty and continuity;
– to provide legal guarantees regarding f ull protection of the confidentiality -of-sources
principle and to strictly apply related European Court of Human Rights case law;
– to ensure that rules relating to political information throughout the audiovisual
media sector guarantee fair access to dif ferent political competitors, opinions and
viewpoints, in particular on the occasion of elections and referendums, allowing
citizens to form their own opinions without undue influence from one dominant
opinion -forming power;
On respect for fundamental righ ts, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities:
– to take, and continue with, positive actions and effective measures to ensure that the
fundamental rights of all persons, including persons belonging to minorities and
homeless persons, are respected and to ensure their implementation by all competent
public authorities; when reviewing the definition of ‘family’, to take into account the
legislative trend in Europe to broaden the scope of the definition of family and the
negative impact of a restricted definition of family on the fundamental rights of

those who will be excluded by the new and more restrictive definition;
– to take a new approach, finally assuming its responsibilities towards homeless – and
therefore vulnerable – people, as set out in the international treaties on human rights
to which Hungary is a signatory, such as the European Convention on Human Rights
and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and thus to promote
fundamental rights rather than violating th em by including in its Fundamental Law
provisions that criminalise homeless people;
– calls on the Hungarian Government to do all in its power to strengthen the
mechanism for social dialogue and comprehensive consultation and to guarantee the
rights associ ated with this;
– calls on the Hungarian Government to increase its efforts to integrate the Roma and
to lay down targeted measures to ensure their protection. Racist threats directed at
the Roma must be unequivocally and resolutely repelled;
On freedom of religion or belief and recognition of churches:
– to establish clear, neutral and impartial requirements and institutional procedures for
the recognition of religious organisations as churches, which respect the duty of the
State to remain neutral and i mpartial in its relations with the various religions and
beliefs and to provide effective means of redress in cases of non -recognition or lack
of a decision, in line with the constitutional requirements set out in the
abovementioned Decision 6/2013 of the Constitutional Court;
Recommendations to the EU institutions on setting up a new mechanism to enforce Article 2
TEU effectively
73. Reiterates the urgent need to tackle the so -called ‘Copenhagen dilemma’, whereby the EU
remains very strict with regard to compliance with the common values and standards on
the part of candidate countries but lacks effective monitoring and sanctioning tools once
they have joined the EU;
74. Firmly requests that Member States be regularly assessed on their continued compliance
with the fundamental values of the Union and the requirements of democracy and the rule
of law, avoiding any double standards and bearing in mind that such an assessment must
be founded on a commonly accepted European understanding of constitutional and l egal
standards; firmly requests, furthermore, that similar situations in Member States should be
monitored in accordance with the same pattern, since otherwise the principle of equality
of the Member States before the Treaties is not respected;
75. Calls f or closer cooperation between Union institutions and other international bodies,
particularly the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission, and for use to be made of
their expertise in upholding the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law;
76. Acknowledges and welcomes the initiatives undertaken, the analysis conducted and the
recommendations issued by the Council of Europe, in particular its Secretary General,
Parliamentary Assembly, Commissioner for Human Rights and the Venice Commiss ion;
77. Calls on all the EU institutions to launch a joint reflection and debate – as also requested

by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland in
their abovementioned letter to the Commission President – on how t o equip the Union
with the necessary tools to fulfil its Treaty obligations on democracy, the rule of law and
fundamental rights, while avoiding any risks of applying double standards among its
Member States;
78. Considers that a future revision of the Tre aties should lead to a better distinction between
an initial phase, aimed at assessing any risks of a serious breach of the values referred in
Article 2 TEU, and a more efficient procedure in a subsequent phase, where action would
need to be taken to addre ss actual serious and persistent violation of those values;
79. Given the current institutional mechanism laid down in Article 7 TEU, reiterates the calls
it made, in its resolution of 12 December 2012 on the situation of fundamental rights in
the European Union (2010 -2011), for the establishment of a new mechanism to ensure
compliance by all Member States with the common values enshrined in Article 2 TEU,
and the continuity of the ‘Copenhagen criteria’; this mechanism could assume the form of
a ‘Copenhagen Commission’ or high -level group, a 'group of wise men’ or an Article 70
TFEU evaluation, and build up on the reforming and strengthening of the mandate of the
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, and on the framework of a strengthened
Commission -Council -European Parliament -Member States dialogue on measures to be
taken;
80 . Reiterates that the setting up of such a mechanism could involve a rethinking of the
mandate of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, which should be
enhanced to include regular monitoring of Member States’ compliance with Article 2
TEU; recommends that such a ‘Copenhagen high -level group’ or any such mechanism
should build on and cooperate with existing mechanisms and structures; recalls the role of
the European U nion Agency for Fundamental Rights, which could bring together the
highly valuable work of the various existing Council of Europe monitoring bodies and the
Agency’s own data and analysis in order to carry out independent, comparative and
regular assessment s of the EU Member States’ compliance with Article 2 TEU.
81. Recommends that this mechanism should:
– be independent from political influence, as all European Union mechanisms which
relate to monitoring Member States should be, as well as swift and effect ive;
– operate in full cooperation with other international bodies as regards the protection
of fundamental rights and the rule of law;
– regularly monitor respect for fundamental rights, the state of democracy and the rule
of law in all Member States, wh ile fully respecting national constitutional traditions;
– conduct such monitoring uniformly in all Member States to avoid any risks of
double standards among its Member States;
– warn the EU at an early stage about any risks of deterioration of the values
enshrined in Article 2 TEU;
– issue recommendations to the EU institutions and Member States on how to respond
and remedy any deterioration of the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU;

82. Instructs its committee responsible for the protection within the territory of the Union of
citizens’ rights, human rights and fundamental rights, and for determining clear risks of a
serious breach by a Member State of the common principles, to submit a detailed proposal
in the form of a report to the Conference of Pres idents and to the Plenary;
83. Instructs its committee responsible for the protection within the territory of the Union of
citizens’ rights, human rights and fundamental rights, and for determining clear risks of a
serious breach by a Member State of the c ommon principles, as well as its committee
responsible for the determination of the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a
Member State of the principles common to the Member States, to follow the development
of the situation in Hungary;
84. Int ends to convene a Conference on this issue before the end of 2013 that will bring
together representatives from the Member States, the European institutions, the Council of
Europe, national Constitutional and Supreme Courts, the Court of Justice of the Eur opean
Union and the European Court of Human Rights;
IV – FOLLOW -UP
85. Calls on the Hungarian authorities to inform Parliament, the Commission, the
Presidencies of the Council and of the European Council, and the Council of Europe
regarding implementation o f the measures requested in paragraph 7 2;
86. Invites the Commission and the Council to each designate a representative who, together
with Parliament’s rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs (‘Article 2 Trilogue’), will carry out
an assessment of the informatio n sent by the Hungarian authorities on implementation of
the recommendations contained in paragraph 7 2, as well as follow -up on future possible
modifications to ensure compliance with Article 2 TEU;
87. Asks the Conference of Presidents to assess the oppor tuneness of resorting to mechanisms
foreseen by the Treaty, including Article 7(1) TEU, in case the replies from the Hungarian
authorities appear not to comply with the requirements of Article 2 TEU;
o
o o
88. Instructs its President to forward this re solution to the Parliament, President and
Government of Hungary, to the Presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Kúria, to
the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and
the candidate countries, the Fundamental Rights Agency, the Council of Europe and the
OSCE.

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