The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Wednesday voted to place Hungary under a full monitoring procedure, citing long-standing rule of law and democracy issues.
A country report adopted on Wednesday said the issues cited had “remained largely unaddressed”, PACE said in a statement.
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The statement noted that ten other CoE member states — Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine — were also under full monitoring, which involved regular visits by PACE rapporteurs, dialogue with national authorities, and “periodic assessments of how far a member State is honouring its Council of Europe obligations and commitments”.
PACE said that “the widespread use of cardinal laws, which require two-thirds majorities, severely restricts political pluralism, which is the hallmark of a democratic system”. It added that the current electoral system “does not ensure a level playing field conducive to fair elections”.
The assembly also raised concerns about Hungary’s using a special legal order since 2020 and said it “allows the triggering of a state of danger”. Such orders, the assembly said, should be “strictly necessary, proportionate and must be limited in time”.
The assembly, at the same time, acknowledged 17 amendments the Hungarian government announced last month, aimed to improve the operations of democratic institutions, increase transparency and making conflict of interest rules more stringent, and asked the Hungarian authorities to request a position from relevant CoE experts.
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