24.hu has compiled a list of five things that the European Parliament (EP) has but the Hungarian Parliament is lacking. Most of these are symbolic, and as such, they can be regarded as European principles which do not receive enough attention in Hungarian politics, and consequently in the everyday life of Hungarian people.
The EP has 751 members and the seats are allocated to each country according to population. Currently, Hungary has 21 representatives in the EP. The quota for female representatives is up to the nations, and even though the EP advises equal representation, this is not compulsory. One third of the EP representatives are women, which is still considerably higher than the percentage in the Hungarian parliament, where out of 199 politicians, only 19 are female. Thus women constitute less than 10pc of representatives.
One of the most important principles of the EP is transparency. Journalists are held in high regard and their work is fully supported. They are provided with high quality technological background, there is a whole press office dedicated to their work, and every EP representative can be approached with questions anywhere. According to 24.hu, this is not the case in the Hungarian Parliament.
Environmental protection is an important consideration for the EP. Paper-based work has been discontinued a long time ago, and all the work in the meeting rooms is done electronically. In Hungary, the bills and proposal are printed, and the Hungarian politicians can be seen with hundreds of pages long documents before voting. The EP building has recycling bins for plastic, paper, glass, and metal as well, which are also missing from the Hungarian Parliament.
Although it is not the most pressing issue, the EP building is also equipped with diaper changing stations. These express the sentiment that the EP pays attention to parents with small children, and they are also a practical and necessary tools. According to 24.hu, there are no places where representatives or visitors could change the diapers of their children in the Hungarian Parliament.
The EP building is made fully accessible. This means not only that the building itself can be accessed and, in the case of an emergency, exited safely, but the equipments and services can be used by everyone equally as well. In contrast, the Hungarian Parliament building is incredibly difficult to access and use independently for people with disabilities.
Copy editor: bm