Brussels, April 10, 2018.
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe expresses its concerns about the results of the parliamentary elections held in Hungary on Sunday. “The parliamentary elections in Hungary are a matter of concern for the future of Europe”, says Leonie Martin, Vice-President of JEF Europe. “Despite the non-partisan character of our organisation, it is time for us and others to speak up when the values we base ourselves and our activism on are endangered by the politics of particular political parties.”
Viktor Orbán has secured his third consecutive term as the Prime Minister of Hungary. This will allow the ruling party Fidesz, a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, to continue its anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetorics/policies for another four years. Hungary’s illiberal regime has already deeply harmed the activity of civil society and has turned media into a tool of governmental propaganda. Another term in office may result in yet more attacks on the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights.
International observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have already reported that the elections were surrounded by “intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric” and that the campaign of Fidesz “limited space for substantive debate and diminished voters’ ability to make an informed choice”.
With official results being published on Saturday, the Prime Minister Orbán’s party seems to have won around 48% of votes after a campaign marked by nationalist, xenophobic rhetoric and EU-bashing. Due to the changes in the electoral law, this result gives the ruling party of PM Orbán a ? majority, which will allow him to keep implementing Constitutional reforms virtually unopposed.
JEF Europe is concerned with the absence of a fully fledged system of checks and balances at EU level which can ensure that the rule of law is safeguarded in all the Member States. The so-called ‘Article 7’ procedure by itself has proven to be ineffective and to be prey to party political considerations within the European Council. We therefore call for the introduction of a European Review Mechanism on Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (DRF), as proposed by the European Parliament to ensure that all the citizens can benefit from a democratic society.
JEF Europe welcomes the high turnout among in these elections, which gives hope that the citizens are not indifferent to the fate of their country. We call on (pro-European opposition) parties to collaborate with each other to ensure that the democratic values enshrined in EU Treaties are fully respected by Hungarian institutions.
More information on JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with 13.000 members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.
JEF Europe Secretariat
Square de Meeûs 25
March 12, 2019
“Democracy Under Pressure” - Action Week - JEF Europe calls citizens to action www.jef.eu/activities/campaigns/democracy-under-pressure/
May 9, 2017
Commission starts infringement procedure on Hungary: JEF calls for launch of Art. 7 procedure www.jef.eu/news/jefnews/commission-starts-infringement-procedure-on-hungary-jef-calls-for-launch-of-art/
April 4, 2017
JEF Europe and AEGEE Europe call upon the European Commission and the European Council to take action towards the Hungarian attacks on the CEU
February 17, 2012
JEF Europe reminds EU Member states and institutions of their commitment to respect democracy and human rights
Amnesty International www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/hungary/