Hungary - Request for opinion by PACE - five additional laws
Strasbourg - At a meeting yesterday in Strasbourg, the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mr Andres Herkel, noting concerns about Hungary’s new legislation, asked the Venice Commission to give opinions on five more laws, i.e. laws on :
• Freedom of Information,
• the Constitutional Court,
• Nationalities and
• Family Protection.
The Venice Commission has just started to assess three other Hungary’s laws, i.e. laws on the independence of the judiciary, freedom of religion and parliamentary elections, following earlier request of the Hungarian authorities.
The request comes as part of an ongoing investigation – launched by the PACE's Monitoring Committee in the spring of 2011 – into whether or not to open a “monitoring procedure” in respect of Hungary, following recent constitutional and legal changes in the country.
Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE) and Jana Fischerová (Czech Republic, EDG), who are leading the investigation for the Assembly’s Monitoring Committee, announced that they will return to Budapest on 16 and 17 February 2012 to gather further information on recent developments. They made a first fact-finding visit in July 2011.
Ten of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are currently subject to the Assembly’s monitoring, which involves dialogue with the authorities of a member state to help it fulfil its obligations as a member of the Organisation.