Hungary backtracks on reform after EU pressure

Issues

Hungary’s Parliament has approved changes to the constitution, removing restrictions on political media campaigns ahead of next year’s election and backtracking on other legal aspects the European Union has said may conflict with its principles.  

The EU, the United States and human rights groups have accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government of using constitutional amendments to limit the powers of Hungary’s top court and weaken democracy in the country.

Lawmakers late on Monday approved the amendments drafted by the government after the European Commission threatened to take legal action against the steps, some of which it said could run against EU norms. The amendments will allow political parties to run campaigns in both state-funded and private media ahead of parliamentary and European Parliament elections due next year, removing a prior restriction for such adverts to state outlets only. But the law still says such advertisements must be published free of charge.

The amendments also remove a constitutional provision enabling the government to launch new taxes due to “unexpected payment obligations” brought on by international court rulings on public finances, a clause that the European Commission had flagged as particularly worrisome.

– Written by Gábor Pákozdi

ADVERTISEMENT

Nearly 18% of Polish firms plan investments in next 3 months... Analysis

Nearly 18% of Polish firms plan investments in next 3 months...

Lawmakers approve 2022 budget Parliament

Lawmakers approve 2022 budget

Duncan Graham reelected as BCCH president Appointments

Duncan Graham reelected as BCCH president

Chain Bridge to be closed for traffic for 18 months City

Chain Bridge to be closed for traffic for 18 months

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.