January 17th, 2012

Barroso says unwillingness of Hungary to make changes pushes EC to act against Budapest

The European Commission has decided to initiate three infringement proceedings against Hungary, EC President Jose Manuel Barroso announced on Tuesday.

The procedures concern Hungary’s central bank law, the retirement age for judges and prosecutors and the independence of the data protection office, respectively.

The Commission has also decided to ask Hungary for further information about legislation concerning the independence of the judiciary, Barroso said. He added that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit Brussels next Tuesday.

“We hoped the Hungarian authorities would make the changes necessary to respect European law. This has not happened so far, so we have decided to launch the proceedings,” said Barroso.

He said the decision was based on a careful analysis of the Hungarian laws.

Barroso said the Commission wanted to avoid any shadow of a doubt that Hungary, as a “key member of the European family,” fully respects democratic principles and values. The sooner the situation is resolved the better, he added.

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