JEF-Europe reminds EU Member-states and institutions of their commitment to respect democracy and human rights.

Following the recent entry into force of the new Hungarian constitution and the institutional changes affecting the architecture of Hungarian democracy, the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) express their concerns about the conflict of the newly adopted legislative framework with the fundamental values of the EU described in the article 2 of the Treaty on the EU:
“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 minorities.”

”We underpin the need for independent institutions serving as means of checks and balances, such as the Constitutional Court, the judiciary, the central bank, the ombudsmen for data protection, ethnic and minority rights and the ombudsman for future generations, the free media and civil society. We condemn legislative practices that aim at circumventing decisions of the Constitutional Court or the parliamentary decision making procedure”, states Emilia Machuca, Vice-president of JEF-Europe.

JEF-Europe is concerned about the powers the new media law confers upon a government-appointed media council and expresses its disagreement with the plans to diminish the independence of Hungary’s central bank. JEF-Europe also worries that the new provisions for the retirement age of judges, as well as the questionable independence of the head of the state office to appoint judges will undermine the judiciary’s independence, and therefore encourages the Hungarian government to review the concerned legislation.

”JEF-Europe expresses its concerns regarding human rights issues within the new constitution, the life imprisonment without parole, the narrow definition of ‘family’, which might allow for prohibition of abortions and for discrimination against single parents or homosexuals, to name only few new constitutional provisions”, further explains Emilia Machuca.

JEF-Europe wishes to stress that deeds need to follow words and encourages the Hungarian government to work in cooperation with the European Commission, which is the guardian of the Treaties, to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

“JEF-Europe will continue speaking up in favour of democracy and the respect of human rights by organising street actions all over Europe on 22 February, explains Franziska Porst, coordinator of the pan-European action”.

”JEF-Europe calls on the European institutions and the member states to reaffirm the aspirations of European integration and its principles of freedom, democracy and tolerance and to take all the necessary measures to protect Human Rights and democracy in Europe. Beyond the Hungarian question, it is the responsibility of each European to refuse populism and extremism throughout Europe,” concludes Pauline Gessant, President of JEF-Europe.

Contact: Franziska Porst, / Pauline Gessant,