ADVERTISEMENT

Co-chair of U.S. Helsinki Commission plays down criticism against Hungary

History

Remarks criticising the Hungarian government in terms of the state of democracy and human rights are unfair and involve double standards, Republican member of the US Congress Christopher H. Smith said on Thursday. Smith, who is co-chairman of the US Helsinki Commission, said in a written statement to a hearing of the commission on Hungary, said that in Hungary “the system of constitutional checks and balances is alive and well”. Smith wrote he had studied written material from both the Hungarian government and its critiques including civil organisations and the governments of other countries, and found that “the Orbán government is right when it says that many of the criticisms are unfair, involving double standards, misrepresentation, and inaccurate information. The Hungarian government has carefully documented this, for example in its “Open letter to Freedom House”. Smith referred to an earlier hearing on anti-Semitism in Hungary, and said that he had been impressed by the “long list of significant actions” the government had taken to fight such expressions. “The Orbán government is on a clear upward trajectory here, and gives every sign that it will continue to be part of the solution rather than the problem,” he wrote. The politician also referred to his government’s earlier criticism of Hungary for a “lack of serious consultation with different sectors of society” and said that such critism should involve more humbleness for a country “where a democratic party with an unprecedented supermajority and a mandate for a dramatic change, gained in a free and fair election, passed a democratic constitution and shows itself open to working with others to amend and improve the flaws in its new laws”. “This is a conversation between equals, and there is a lot we can learn from Hungary,” Smith said, and mentioned the constitutional cap on the public debt and protection for life in the womb as examples. At the hearing, Hungarian MEP József Szájer defended Hungary’s process in drawing up and endorsing the country’s new constitution, in his testimony.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fiscal, monetary policy partnership needed to rein in CPI - ... Analysis

Fiscal, monetary policy partnership needed to rein in CPI - ...

Parl't votes to phase out savings coops integration framewor... Parliament

Parl't votes to phase out savings coops integration framewor...

Roche Szolgáltató appoints P&C business partner lead Appointments

Roche Szolgáltató appoints P&C business partner lead

FAO–Food Bank convoy delivers food to those in need City

FAO–Food Bank convoy delivers food to those in need

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.