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European Parliament resolution of 10 June 2015 on the situation in Hungary

European Parliament
2014 – 2019

TEXTS ADOPTED Provisional edition

P8_TA-PROV(2015)0227
Situation in Hungary
European Parliament resolution of 10 June 2015 on t he situation in Hungary
(2015/2700(RSP))
The European Parliament ,
– having regard to the preamble to the Treaty on Eu ropean Union (TEU), in particular the
second and the fourth to seventh indents thereof,
– having regard in particular to Articles 2, 3(3), second indent, 6 and 7 TEU, and to the
articles of the TEU and the Treaty on the Functioni ng of the European Union (TFEU)
relating to respect for, and the promotion and prot ection of, fundamental rights in the EU,
– having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Right s of the European Union of 7 December
2000, which was proclaimed on 12 December 2007 in S trasbourg and entered into force
with the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009,
– having regard to Articles 1, 2 and 19 of the Char ter of Fundamental Rights of the
European Union,
– having regard to Protocol No 13 to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning t he abolition of the death penalty
in all circumstances,
– having regard to the Convention for the Protectio n of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms (ECHR), the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and the
conventions, recommendations, resolutions and repor ts of the Parliamentary Assembly,
the Committee of Ministers, the Human Rights Commis sioner and the Venice
Commission of the Council of Europe,
– having regard to its 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)
1,
– having regard to its resolution of 27 February 20 14 on the situation of fundamental rights
in the European Union (2012)
1,

1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0315.

– having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2014 entitled ‘A new EU
Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law’ (COM(2014) 0158),
– having regard to the report of 16 December 2014 b y the Council of Europe Commissioner
for Human Rights following his visit to Hungary fro m 1 to 4 July 2014,
– having regard to the conclusions of the Council o f the European Union and the Member
States meeting within the Council of 16 December 20 14 on ensuring respect for the rule of
law,
– having regard to the hearing on the situation of human rights in Hungary held on
22 January 2015 by the Committee on Civil Liberties , Justice and Home Affairs,
– having regard to the Council and Commission state ments presented at the plenary debate
held in the European Parliament on 11 February 2015 on an EU framework for
democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights,
– having regard to the exchange of views further to the Conference of Presidents’ decision
of 30 April 2015 on the possible effects, including on its rights and status as a member of
the European Union, if a Member State decided to re introduce the death penalty, held on 7
May 2015 by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justi ce and Home Affairs,
– having regard to the Council and Commission state ments presented at the plenary debate
held in the European Parliament on 19 May 2015 on t he situation in Hungary,
– having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the European Union is founded on the val ues of respect for human dignity,
freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and r espect for human rights, including the
rights of persons belonging to minorities, and wher eas 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 preva il (Article 2 TEU);
B. whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits any
discrimination based on any ground such as sex, rac e, colour, ethnic or social origin,
genetic features, language, religion or belief, pol itical or any other opinion, membership
of a national minority, property, birth, disability , age or sexual orientation;
C. whereas the abolition of the death penalty is a precondition for membership of the EU,
with the EU holding a strong and principled positio n against the death penalty, the
abolition of which is a key objective of its human rights policy;
D. whereas the right to asylum is guaranteed, with due respect for the rules of the Geneva
Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol thereto of 31 January 1967 relating to the
status of refugees, and in accordance with the TEU and the TFEU;
E. whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European
Convention on Human Rights have been fully incorpor ated into the Hungarian
constitution; whereas recent developments in Hungar y have, however, led to concerns
over the situation in the country;

1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0173.

F. whereas on 28 April 2015 following recent events in Hungary, the Hungarian Prime
Minister, Viktor Orbán, made a statement concerning the need for public debate on the
death penalty; whereas on 30 April 2015 the Preside nt of the European Parliament, Martin
Schulz, issued a press release stating that Viktor Orbán had assured him that the
Hungarian Government has no plans to take any steps to reintroduce the death penalty and
will comply with and honour all European treaties a nd legislation; whereas Viktor Orbán
reiterated similar statements on 1 May 2015, howeve r, during an interview on national
public radio, adding that the decision to reintrodu ce the death penalty should fall under the
sole competence of the Member States, thus deviatin g from the provisions of the EU
Treaties;
G. whereas in May 2015 the Hungarian Government lau nched a public consultation on
migration, having held a number of similar consulta tions in the past on other issues;
whereas public consultation can be an important and valuable tool for governments to
develop policies that can count on the support of t he population; whereas the questions
have received criticism regarding their leading and rhetorical nature, establishing a direct
link between migratory phenomena and security threa ts;
H. whereas during the exchange of views in the Comm ittee on Civil Liberties, Justice and
Home Affairs the majority of the political groups s hared the view that the reintroduction
of the death penalty and the questions asked in the public consultation were unacceptable;
I. whereas, in its statement presented at the plena ry debate held in the European Parliament
on 19 May 2015 on the situation in Hungary, the Pre sidency of the Council of the
European Union declared that the Council had not di scussed the situation in Hungary and
therefore not adopted any formal position on that m atter;
J. whereas efforts to address the current situation in Hungary should not aim to single out a
particular Member State or government but fulfil a collective obligation on all the EU
institutions, and in particular the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, to ensure the
application of, and compliance with, the Treaties a nd the Charter across the Union and in
every Member State;
1. Insists that the death penalty is incompatible w ith the values of respect for human dignity,
freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and r espect for human rights on which the
Union is founded, and that any Member State reintro ducing the death penalty would
therefore be in violation of the Treaties and of th e EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;
reaffirms in the most adamant manner that the aboli tion of the death penalty constitutes a
milestone in the development of fundamental rights in Europe;
2. Recalls that a serious breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2 TEU
would trigger the ‘Article 7’ procedure;
3. Condemns the repeated statements made by Hungari an Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
instigating a debate on a potential re-establishmen t of the death penalty in Hungary, thus
institutionalising and fuelling a concept which is in breach of the values on which the
Union is founded; notes, therefore, the statement m ade by Viktor Orbán not to reintroduce
capital punishment in Hungary, and underlines the r esponsibility of a prime minister as
head of government to promote EU values and to lead by example;
4. Notes that Member States have the sovereign righ t to launch national consultations;
recalls, however, that consultations should reflect the readiness of governments to exercise

responsible governance aimed at securing democratic political solutions and respect for
fundamental European values;
5. Denounces the public consultation on migration a nd the related country-wide billboard
campaign initiated by the Hungarian Government, and stresses that the content and
language used in the particular consultation launch ed in Hungary, on immigration and
terrorism, are highly misleading, biased and unbala nced, establishing a biased and direct
link between migratory phenomena and security threa ts; points out that replies to the
online questionnaire are to be complemented by pers onal data, thus revealing one’s
political opinions in violation of data protection rules; calls, therefore, for this consultation
to be withdrawn;
6. Regrets the fact that the public consultation ca sts blame on the EU institutions and their
policies without also acknowledging the responsibil ity of the Member States in these
areas; recalls that the Member States are fully inv olved in the EU legislative process;
7. Invites all Member States to participate in a co nstructive manner in the current discussion
on the European Agenda on Migration, which affects equally internal, external and
development policies that have to be implemented in the EU;
8. Believes that all Member States have to comply f ully with EU law in their legislative and
administrative practice, and that all legislation, including the primary law of any Member
State or candidate country, has to reflect and be i n accordance with basic European values,
namely democratic principles, the rule of law and f undamental rights;
9. Deplores the absence of a reaction from the Coun cil to the most recent developments in
Hungary and denounces the lack of commitment by Mem ber States to ensuring respect for
the rule of law as specified in the Conclusions of the Council of the European Union of 16
December 2014; urges the Council of the European Un ion and the European Council to
hold a discussion and adopt conclusions on the situ ation in Hungary;
10. Notes that these recent developments have led t o concerns regarding the principles of the
rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in Hu ngary over the past year, which,
taken together, could represent an emerging systemi c threat to the rule of law in this
Member State;
11. Urges the Commission to activate the first stag e of the EU framework to strengthen the
rule of law, and therefore to initiate immediately an in-depth monitoring process
concerning the situation of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary,
assessing a potential systemic serious breach of th e values on which the Union is founded
as per Article 2 TEU, including the combined impact of a number of measures
exacerbating the state of democracy, the rule of la w and fundamental rights, and
evaluating the emergence of a systemic threat to th e rule of law in that Member State that
could develop into a clear risk of a serious breach within the meaning of Article 7 TEU;
asks the Commission to report back on this matter t o Parliament and the Council before
September 2015;
12. Calls on the Commission to present a proposal f or the establishment of an EU mechanism
on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental right s, as a tool for compliance with and
enforcement of the Charter and Treaties as signed b y all Member States, relying on
common and objective indicators, and to carry out a n impartial, yearly assessment on the
situation of fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law in all Member States,

indiscriminately and on an equal basis, involving an evaluation by the EU Agency for
Fundamental Rights, together with appropriate bindi ng and corrective mechanisms, in
order to fill existing gaps and to allow for an aut omatic and gradual response to breaches
of the rule of law and fundamental rights at Member State level; instructs its Committee
on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to con tribute to the development and
elaboration of this proposal in the form of a legis lative own-initiative report to be adopted
by the end of the year;
13. Instructs its President to forward this resolut ion to the Commission, the Council, the
President, Government and Parliament of Hungary, th e governments and parliaments of
the Member States and the candidate countries, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights,
the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Secu rity and Cooperation in Europe.

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