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Hungarian NGOs contribute to the European Commission’s second Rule of Law Report

Eight Hungarian NGOs submitted a joint contribution in the stakeholder consultation launched by the European Commission for its second annual Rule of Law Report. The Commission’s Rule of Law Report pertaining to 2019 identified substantial problems severely threatening the rule of law in Hungary in all four areas examined. According to the NGOs, the situation has deteriorated further in 2020. They trust that in this year’s report, the Commission will make concrete, enforceable recommendations to EU Member States, hence also for Hungary on how to advance rule of law in the EU.

Rule of law and democracy suffer hit across the EU in year of COVID pandemic 

Rule of law has worsened in 2020 compared to 2019, in part due to COVID which exacerbated existing problems Governments with authoritarian tendencies in Hungary, Poland and Slovenia have used the pandemic as an excuse to weaken democratic standards further Some countries with serious democratic failings like the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania are seeing reforms that could potentially result in improvements to judicial independence, anti-corruption, and the freedoms of campaigners and citizens’ groups Threats to media freedom and free speech, attacks on journalists and activists, repression of protests and free speech, and limitations on access to public interest information are alarming in many EU countries, including some with traditionally strong democratic records such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain

In Hungary, COVID takes its biggest toll on the poor settlements

In the year 2020, the epidemic and the ensuing restrictions further amplified the past difficulties of the most vulnerable and underprivileged sections of Hungarian society, and now more than ever they seem to be on the losing side of the current situation. In addition to this, the coronavirus has more severe consequences for those living in poverty. The Hungarian government should pay special attention to these people, and targeted measures must be taken to prevent further serious losses. Nevertheless there are no special measures taking place, during this time of the epidemic the government forgets about this strata of society just as much as it did before.

Not even the court would stop the Media Council, Klubrádió will no longer stay on air

The Metropolitan Court of Budapest dismissed the action brought by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) on behalf of Klubrádió against the decision of the media authority to silence the radio station without giving detailed reasons.

Surveilled but not consulted: Citizens living under constant technological surveillance

Increasingly, and almost always without social debate, facial recognition systems are being used by states to monitor and track their citizens. Inadequate regulation violates fundamental rights, while technological inaccuracies reinforce discrimination. On Data Protection Day, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) published its report summarising international experiences, in cooperation with the HCLU - as the problem also affects Hungary.

Hungary’s anti-NGO law still in effect – 3 key recommendations to the European Commission

No steps have been taken by Hungary to comply with CJEU’s judgement. We remind EC it’s time to act.