The new constitution of Hungary undermines democracy | 11Fev2012 12:03:26
Recent and radical changes in the political scene in Hungary led to international criticism.(Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary is now under strong pressure by the European parlament and the European Commission. He is accused of breaking European law, undermining the independence of the constitutional court , central bank and the media. Orban insists his new constitution is one hundred percent in agreement with the European law.
1. Control of the media
Since August of 2010, the NMHH (National Media and Infocommunications Authority of Hungary) was responsible for the control of public media.
Since January 1, 2012 the new media law is in force. By the new law the NMHH does has not only control, as before, the public media, but all contributions from all providers of radio, television, print and online media and foreign medium available in Hungary. Since January 1, 2012, the authority is no longer guided by all parties represented in parlament, but only by people who were nominated by the ruling party Fidesz.( The average public institutions (radio, television and news agency) will be merged and placed under the supervision of the NMHH. The Authority may issue regulations independently, as this right is enshrined in the new Constitution.
-Elimination of the protection of the informant: Journalists from the beginning of 2012 can no longer refuse to testify against their sources, if the "national security" is concerned.
-Removal of secrecy of the publisher: The Authority may investigate the publishers without any limitations. The Authority has broad rights to control the media and can pass substancial fines (up to the equivalent of € 750,000 on average media and up to € 90,000 on online media) when applying:
-Reported "politically unbalanced"
- Content endanger "national security"(
-The "duty of information" is infringed
The directors of medium can be considered personally with fines.(The NMHH withdrew the frequency of the only emitter of the opposition; Klub Radio 95.3 Mhz.
2. New constitution
On January 1, 2012, the new constitution was declared. 30,000 Hungarians demonstrated against it, while at the same time Orban celebrated the new constitution with the opening of an exhibition of paintings. The paintings were not chosen through a competition. They have been commissioned by the ruling party.(The example clearly shows the character of glorifying violence by the authorities. (Image)(The protesters declared their concern of seeing the democracy in danger.
The term "republic" was removed from the state name.
Direct consequences of the new constitution are severe cuts in the independence of the constitutional court. The old and experienced judges were replaced with new, inexperienced and loyal to the new government.(
Also the independence of the central bank suffered severe cuts, what was criticized by the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
NMHH : http://www.nmhh.hu/index.php?lang=en
Official document: http://www.mediatanacs.hu/uploads/9/12/1321457199hungary_new_media_regulation_eng_web.pdf