Budapest (MTI) – The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee will next week hold a debate on Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s proposals on migration and capital punishment, Hungarian Socialist MEP Istvan Ujhelyi told MTI on Thursday.
Armin Machmer, EP President Martin Schulz’s spokesperson, confirmed that the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs would discuss the Hungarian prime minister’s proposals.
Ujhelyi said the debate on Orban’s proposals was green-lit at the EP group leaders’ meeting in Strasbourg. EP group leaders said it was important to examine what the reintroduction of the death penalty would mean in an EU member state, the MEP added.
Ujhelyi said the prime minister’s proposals could come up for debate at next month’s plenary session of the European Parliament. He said the prime minister has already received “harsh” criticism from EP group leaders for his proposals.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference, Hungarian Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi said that despite the debates, the European Convention on Human Rights is the legal document that applies when dealing with the death penalty in Hungary.
In a press release put out on Thursday, Sergei Stanishev, the Bulgarian leader of the Party of European Socialists condemned the prime minister’s proposal. Stanishev said it was “deeply sad” that a member state made “such a regressive proposal against the EU charter of fundamental rights”, given that “the EU received the Nobel peace prize for its work to maintain and promote peace.”
Human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe Nils Muiznieks recently expressed concern over “the populist trend in political discourse in Hungary” in connection with Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent statements.
The idea of starting a public debate on restoring the death penalty was flagged recently by Orban after a young woman was brutally murdered in southeast Hungary.
Schulz confirmed at the EP group leaders’ meeting that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union officially outlaws the death penalty, and that the restoration of capital punishment is incompatible with EU membership.
Leaders of the Liberal group submitted a letter to European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, expressing their concerns over Orban’s proposals. They asked whether the vice-president considered the Hungarian prime minister’s proposals a breach of EU law, and whether the Commission would take any action against Hungary.