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Hungary raids Norway-backed NGOs

10.09.14 @ 09:27

Hungarian police on Monday (9 September) raided the offices of Norway-backed NGOs Okotars and Demnet, escalating the government’s campaign against civil society. Norway reacted by saying the moves were "unacceptable" ...

Orban wants to build 'illiberal state'

28.07.14 @ 17:57

Hungary leader Viktor Orban has said he wants to build an illiberal state based on national foundations, citing Russia and China as examples. Speaking at a retreat of ethnic Hungarian leaders in Baile Tusnad, Romania, ...

OpinionHungary’s insidious media clampdown

13.06.14 @ 10:09

It started with a May 25 Constitutional Court decision that website operators are responsible for any comments to blog posts or news commentary that may violate the media law. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, a ...

Post EU ElectionsCourt rules Jobbik cannot be called 'far-right'

06.06.14 @ 09:29

Jobbik, Hungary's far-right party cannot be deemed "far-right" by newscasters, according to a decision on Monday (3 June) by the country's highest court. Hungary's supreme court said that by referring to Jobbik as a " ...

Post EU ElectionsHungarian media in mass protest against new tax rules

06.06.14 @ 09:26

More than 60 media outlets in Hungary have joined a protest against a planned tax on advertising revenues which the industry says will cripple press freedom in the country. The move, unprecedented in scale by the ...

Post EU ElectionsPolitical interference row between Norway and Hungary escalates

04.06.14 @ 16:57

Norway summoned the Hungarian ambassador in Oslo to the foreign ministry on Wednesday (4 June) after the Hungarian authorities two days earlier raided the offices of NGOs involved in administrating aid from the Nordic ...

Post EU ElectionsHungarian PM breaks ranks on Juncker

25.05.14 @ 18:32

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he will not support Jean-Claude Juncker's bid to become president of the European Commission even if the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) wins the European ...

Post EU ElectionsJobbik MEP accused of working for Russia

15.05.14 @ 18:16

The Prosecutor’s Office in Hungary has requested the European Parliament to waiver the immunity of far-right Hungarian MEP Bela Kovacs amid allegations he is working for Russia. Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet, which ...

Orban upsets neighbours by call for Hungarian minority self-rule

15.05.14 @ 10:15

Hungary’s ambassador to Ukraine was summoned by the foreign ministry in Kiev on Tuesday (May 13) to explain what Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban meant when he spoke of a special status for Hungarian minorities in ...

FocusHungary and Finland in uphill battle for gay rights

13.05.14 @ 18:18

Gay communities in Hungary and Finland are facing uphill battles for equal rights with conservative politicians in both countries imposing barriers. Hungarian children as young as 10 are being told homosexuality is a “ ...

Post EU ElectionsHungary's far-right party set to come second in EU vote

13.05.14 @ 08:46

With just two weeks to go until the EU vote, Budapest is marked by few EU election posters. The country is expecting to see an electoral repeat of April's general election, in which Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz scooped ...

OpinionWhere next after the Hungarian election?

22.04.14 @ 16:37

National elections took place in Hungary on 6 April and the final results have now been made public. While the coalition of political parties on the left gained new voters, it was not sufficient to block the majority of ...

Post EU ElectionsHungary's Orban wins another term, Jobbik support jumps

07.04.14 @ 09:27

Hungary's centre-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban was handed another four years in government after national elections on Sunday (6 April), early results show, while the far-right Jobbik scooped a fifth of the votes. ...

AnalysisHungary's political left partly responsible for rise of its far-right

28.03.14 @ 09:26

The significant inroads made by Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front in the recent regional elections in France – especially in traditionally socialist strongholds – came as a surprise to many. But the far-right ...

New EU citizens' appeal targets press freedom

11.03.14 @ 21:41

Verdi, a German trade union which triggered the only successful European Citizens' Initiative so far, is throwing its weight behind a new project on press freedom. With 2 million members, it could easily get the 1 ...

Post EU ElectionsJewish boycott puts Orban's statue in awkward spotlight

25.02.14 @ 08:35

Hungary has delayed the unveiling of a controversial statue planned for the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, following criticism by the country’s main Jewish organisation. The planned memorial would depict Hungary as ...

Post EU ElectionsOrbanism vote eclipses EU election in Hungary

14.02.14 @ 09:23

While Europe is gearing up for its most important election season so far, Hungary is buzzing with election anxiety as well. In this country of 10 million however, the excitement is all about 6 April, the national ...

VideoNo jobs for Europe's brightest graduates

21.10.13 @ 18:05

Despina Papadaki, from Greece, was one of the 150 participants selected from 2,600 to celebrate the 15th year of the youth partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in Budapest. The plight of ...

VideoRoma: Europe's easiest scapegoats

14.10.13 @ 09:09

In the European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest, people believe that Roma are the easiest scapegoat in Europe, especially in times of crisis. This belief is strengthened by recent revelations that Sweden has a secret ...

MEPs call for new monitoring body on Hungary

02.07.13 @ 19:28

Left-wing and centrist MEPs want to create a special commission to make sure Hungary adheres to standards which made it eligible to join the EU in the first place. “The European parliament should be compensated by a non ...

OpinionHungary: Testing Europe's resolve on rights

28.06.13 @ 17:01

Hungary's troubling record on rights is putting Europe to the test. How to respond to Budapest's continued refusal to heed repeated calls for reform following critical assessments by a growing number of expert bodies ...

OpinionBashing each other takes us nowhere

11.06.13 @ 07:48

I have read with interest the fears about fading democracy in Hungary as they are mirrored in the international press, among them EUobserver. As a Hungarian economist, who has spent some years in the European Parliament ...

German politicians outraged at Orban's Nazi jibe

21.05.13 @ 09:20

German politicians from across the political spectrum have expressed their outrage after Hungary's Viktor Orban compared Angela Merkel's policies to the Nazi invasion ordered by Adolf Hitler. “The Germans already sent ...

Response to Hungary is test for EU

16.05.13 @ 17:21

The European Union has placed human rights, democracy, and the rule of law firmly at the core of its structure, and so its willingness to defend those values is crucial to its credibility. Faced with a deteriorating ...

Orban fails to impress Jewish leaders on anti-Semitism

06.05.13 @ 09:28

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s speech against anti-Semitism at the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in Budapest on Sunday (5 May) failed to impress organisers, as the far-right Jobbik party staged a rally against ...

Human rights watchdog criticised for Hungary analysis

26.04.13 @ 18:53

The president of a EU-wide network against homelessness has slammed Europe's human rights watchdog for its recent analysis of Hungary’s constitutional changes. “We find it quite shocking that the Venice commission came ...

Hungary to pay EU fines via new tax on own citizens

17.04.13 @ 14:47

Hungarian authorities will pass on the cost of EU fines through a tax on its own citizens whenever it breaches EU law. Giving details of the new Hungarian initiative, EU justice commissioner for justice Vivian Reding ...

OpinionHungary-bashers should take closer look at new laws

05.04.13 @ 09:46

Alde group leader Guy Verhofstadt in a recent piece in EUobserverdenounces the Hungarian government and all its works. He uses loaded language - “last straw … Orbanization … radically curtailed” - and he calls for ...

Hungary in surprise ranking on EU justice scoreboard

27.03.13 @ 17:54

The European Commission unveiled a justice scoreboard on Wednesday (27 March) that ranks judicial systems in non-criminal cases across individual member states. Hungary’s judicial system ranks higher in some categories ...

OpinionTime to suspend Orban's EU voting rights

21.03.13 @ 18:41

The EU is not only experiencing an economic crisis. Even more worryingly, it is suffering a democratic crisis in its member states, including, among others, Hungary. Since the arrival in power of Prime Minister Viktor ...

Hungary awards top journalism prize to anti-Roma broadcaster

18.03.13 @ 09:25

An anti-Semitic and Roma-bashing TV broadcaster in Hungary has received the country’s top journalism prize. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government awarded Ferenc Szaniszlo the Tancsics Prize for journalism ...

Hungary PM dismisses law reform criticism

14.03.13 @ 22:02

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday (14 March) brushed aside criticism that recent changes to the constitution would undermine democracy. “Who will be able to present even one single point of evidence, ...

Hungary restricts campaign freedoms ahead of EU elections

13.03.13 @ 11:48

Recent amendments passed by Hungarian lawmakers will restrict advertising campaigns for European Parliament elections. European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso raised the issue last Friday (8 March) in a letter ...

Hungary law reform sparks protest, criticism

11.03.13 @ 09:29

Hungarian lawmakers are set to vote in 14 pages of constitutional amendments on Monday (11 March) which critics say may undermine rule of law. The amendments would curtail the power of the constitutional court and annul ...

OpinionSmall businesses: silent sufferers in the economic crisis

20.02.13 @ 09:24

“...There is still no date for the hearing, although I have been inquiring monthly in the last 8 months. I do not know anything about my case, I do not get any information. There are many victims in the same situation, ...

Hungarian judicial reform has 'loopholes'

29.01.13 @ 21:48

Hungarian reform proposals designed to revamp controversial judiciary legislation contain loopholes. Laws that forced senior Hungarian judges into early retirement drew a barrage of criticism from the European ...

EU keen to rank justice systems in member states

13.09.12 @ 17:39

EU justice commissioner Vivane Reding announced on Wednesday (12 September) a "justice scoreboard" to rank rule of law in the EU. "I am prepared to come once a year before this house to share with all of you the ...

OpinionIll winds blow for Viktor the troublemaker

07.09.12 @ 09:26

Viktor Orban has been behaving like a classic realpolitiker: instead of cooperating closely with the EU in its time of crisis, he has chosen to develop contacts with rich and generous regional powers from the East which ...

FocusIs China picking off individual EU members?

10.07.12 @ 10:18

Lately EU integration seems to have become a wrestling match between those member states large enough to impose conditionality on their partners and those member states large enough to escape this interference. No ...

Hungarian minister says No to EU 'empire-building'

31.05.12 @ 17:38

A Hungarian minister has accused the EU of trying to over-extend its power amid the financial crisis. Gyorgy Matolcsy, the 56-year-old economy minister from the nationalist Fidesz party, said in an op-ed in the business ...

FocusMEPs condemn homophobia in eastern Europe

24.05.12 @ 17:38

MEPs from across the political spectrum have criticised EU member states Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary, as well as neighbouring Russia, Ukraine and Moldova over an upsurge in homophobia. "The European Parliament ...

Handcuffs and leashes await asylum seekers in Hungary

24.04.12 @ 17:24

Handcuffed and leashed, asylum seekers in Hungary often find themselves in deplorable conditions, says a report released on Tuesday (24 April) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "They are ...

Right to fair trial risks being undermined in Hungary

19.03.12 @ 17:35

Hungary's reform of its judiciary system has been thoroughly criticised by the Council of Europe, with aspects of its damning assessment likely to fuel an ongoing quarrel between the European Commission and Budapest on ...

Hungarian PM to EU: 'We won't be a colony'

16.03.12 @ 09:28

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday (15 March) accused the EU of colonialism and meddling in his country's domestic affairs. His words come after Budapest was hit with a €500 million EU funds freeze for ...

Heckles on 'double standards' as EU freezes Hungary's money

13.03.12 @ 22:25

EU finance ministers on Tuesday (13 March) approved a controversial funding freeze on Hungary under the bloc's new deficit rules, but some countries, led by Austria, say it was a bit harsh after Spain obtained ...

Hungary feels the heat of new EU budget rules

12.03.12 @ 20:34

Finance ministers are on Tuesday expected to approve the freezing of €495 million in funds for Hungary if Budapest fails to bring down its deficit in the coming six months. - the first such move under the EU's ...

EU gives Hungary one month to fix laws

07.03.12 @ 19:05

The EU commission on Wednesday (7 March) gave Hungary a one-month deadline to change its controversial laws or face court cases in Luxembourg, just as Budapest is struggling to secure a loan from international lenders. ...

EU to freeze millions for Hungary over deficit

22.02.12 @ 16:14

Hungary on Wednesday (22 February) was given less than a year to lower its public deficit or have a third of its EU subsidies slashed, amounting to €495 million. It is the first time the EU commission takes such an ...

Hungary responds to EU infringement procedure

18.02.12 @ 08:41

Hungary sent around a 100-hundred page response on Friday (17 February) to the European Commission concerning three infringement proceedings launched against the country in January. The Commission had cast serious doubt ...

MEPs voice 'serious concern' on Hungary's democracy

16.02.12 @ 17:55

The European Parliament has passed a resolution tabled by left-wing and liberal deputies urging Hungary to respect EU laws and values or risk having the EU assembly start a formal investigation into serious breaches of ...