orbán parliament
Photo: MTI/Máthé Zoltán

Thirteen European Union countries expressed concern over Hungary’s new law which enhances government powers to tackle the novel coronavirus epidemic in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“In this unprecedented situation, it is legitimate that Member States adopt extraordinary measures to protect their citizens and overcome the crisis,” the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden said in the statement published on the websites of their respective foreign ministries.

The countries added, however, that they were “deeply concerned about the risk of violations of the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights arising from the adoption of certain emergency measures”.

They said Hungary should limit emergency measures to “what is strictly necessary” which should be proportionate and temporary in nature.

In addition, the measures should be subject to regular scrutiny and must respect the principles of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights as well as international legal obligations. The emergency measures must not restrict the freedom of expression or the media, the statement added.

Member states must work together to overcome the coronavirus crisis and uphold European principles and values, they said.

“We therefore support the European Commission initiative to monitor the emergency measures and their application to ensure the fundamental values of the Union are upheld, and invite the General Affairs Council to take up the matter when appropriate,” the statement said.

Source: MTI

4 comments
  1. It is truly amazing that so many E.U. countries have decided Hungary should ‘limit’ emergency measures to deal with the Wuhan ‘flu.

    Please advise me if I am wrong but I fail to see how France or Germany or Greece or Italy or Portugal or Spain (amongst other European nations) have ‘overcome the coronavirus crisis’ whilst navel-gazing and singing KUMBAYA.

    PERHAPS THESE COUNTRIES SHOULD FIX UP THEIR OWN BACK YARDS FIRST !

  2. Hungarian people are lucky to have such practical prime minister. All the other countries are TALKING Mr Orban is DOING to save his country and its people.
    Along the history the TALKERS criticize the DOERS.
    Mr Orban wishing you success in saving your country and your people.

  3. Perhaps people should read what the EU is concerned about. It is not the measures being taken to deal with the virus. It is about the lack of a sunset clause and the absolute power being afforded to the Prime Minister. A very different issue and one that the opposition parties within the Hungarian parliament are also very concerned about as are democratic nations outside of the EU.

  4. OPEN LETTER TO PAULUS :

    Perhaps YOU should read the details about Hungary’s new law enhancing government powers to deal with Wuhan coronavirus and its effects.

    It CLEARLY states that the Hungarian Parliament can REMOVE such powers from Hungary’s government AT ANY TIME.

    Furthermore, the powers afforded to Prime Minister Orban are NO GREATER than those which the President of France (Monsieur Macron) are given in PEACE TIME !

    As so many national leaders have correctly noted, this is a time of WAR against an unseen and very deadly enemy.

    Only an appropriate response from the ‘very top’ of countries will prove to be effective in this war.

    Obviously the Hungarian opposition parties / members – who together can only muster about one-third of votes in Parliament – are bitter about being relegated to positions of NON-IMPORTANCE.

    However, those individuals – together with vocal critics in other European nations – must remember that the current Hungarian Parliament was elected DEMOCRATICALLY by Hungarian voters.

    Furthermore, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has continually CONSULTED the Hungarian population on ALL major issues over the past several years via ‘NATIONAL CONSULTATIONS’ and made decisions accordingly.

    How many other leaders of European nations have acted in this way ?

    Chancellor Merkel ? NEVER.

    President Macron ? NEVER.

    The (current) leaders of Belgium or Denmark or Finland or Greece or Ireland or Italy or Luxembourg or the Netherlands or Portugal or Spain or Sweden ? NEVER.

    Hungarian opposition parties / members should – instead of continually whining – reflect on WHY the Hungarian people do not support them or their objectives.

    The same can be said for those ‘do-gooders’ in other countries.

    Remember that it is easy to criticise but much harder to act decisively in the national interest.

    STOP INTERFERING IN HUNGARY’S ‘BUSINESS’ – SUPPORTED BY THE MAJORITY OF ITS POPULATION – AND START SORTING OUT THE NUMEROUS PROBLEMS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRIES !

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