Entry into force of the new Constitution of Hungary: a threat to democracy and rights – 6 January 2012

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The new Constitution of Hungary (also called Fundamental Law) entered into force on January 1st 2012, despite many criticisms raised by Hungarian and European NGOs, many Members of the European Parliament, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, several diplomats around the world. AEDH considers that this Constitution, and the cardinal laws attached to it, adopted these past 6 months, endanger democracy and rule of law in Hungary and are against the fundamental values of the European Union.

The new Constitution threatens the principle of separation of powers and checks and balances, and limits the independence and the powers of structures aiming at protecting rights and democracy, in particular those of the Constitutional Court, of the whole of the judiciary system, of the data protection authority. It paves the way for restrictions of the right to abortion, the right to information, freedom of religion, freedom of press.

You can download here the press release published by AEDH on this topic, on the occasion of the end of the Hungary Presidency of the EU in July 2011, in English and French.

The Hungarian organisations Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and Eötvös Károly Policy Institute have done a remarkable work of analysis and information on these constitutional and legislative developments. AEDH lists here a number of there publications on the Constitution: on its process of adoption, its content, the specific provisions included in the cardinal laws.

These documents are only available in English, you can download them below.You will find them in Hungarian on the website of the organisations named above.

On the legislative context in Hungary since the rise of power of the Fidesz party:

Assessing the first Wave of Legislation by Hungary’s new Parliament, 23 July 2010

The second Wave of Legislation by Hungary’s new Parliament: Violating the Rule of Law, 13 December 2010

On the new Constitution of Hungary and its adoption :

Comments on the Process of Framing the new Constitution of Hungary, 10 March 2011

The third Wave: the new Constitution of Hungary, 14 April 2011

Commission de Venise, Opinion on the new Constitution of Hungary, 20 June 2011

Assessment of Government reactions concerning the Venice Commission’s opinion on the new Constitution of Hungary, August 2011

On specific provisions :

Judiciary system and Constitutional Court :

Communication of the Hungarian judiciary elite, 14 April 2011

Constitutional protection to further weaken in Hungary, 28 October 2011, in English and Hungarian

Letter to Ms. Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, 29 December 2011, in English and Hungarian

Personal Data Protection / Right to Information :

Proposed Constitution is serious threat to right of information, 20 April 2011

Draft law on data protection and freedom to information, 29 June 2011

Letter to Jose Manuel Barroso on the Data Protection Commissioner, 3 October 2011

Right to Abortion

Aggravation of Abortion? Problems, typical of the whole of the Constitution framing process, around the protection of the right to life of the fetus, 15 April 2011

Freedom of religion and separation of church and state

Summary report on the proposed religion law in Hungary, 26 June 2011

Freedom of press

Still many black holes in the Media Law – The Constitutionnal Court’s intervention is welcome, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg, 21 December 2011


AEDH has also been informed by a Hungarian grassroots organisation of the situation of homeless people in Hungary and the measures taken by the government to criminalize homelessness.

You can download the analysis of this association here.

Compte AEDH