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Hungary: PACE decides not to open a monitoring procedure

Strasbourg, 25.06.2013 – While raising in a resolution adopted today “serious and sustained concerns” about the extent to which Hungary is still complying with the obligations it took on when it joined the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided however not to open a monitoring procedure in respect of the country but resolved “to closely follow the situation” and “to take stock of the progress achieved” in the implementation of the adopted text.

According to the parliamentarians, a constitutional framework should be based on broadly accepted values in society, and several provisions are a concern to a part of Hungarian society. These provisions however “are based on traditional European values, are noted in the Constitutions of many other European countries and were adopted by a democratic two-thirds majority in the Hungarian Parliament".

The Assembly took note of the opinion of the Venice Commission on the 4th constitutional amendment, the conclusions and findings of which confirm the concerns of the Assembly. It urged the Hungarian authorities, in close co-operation with the Venice Commission, “to fully address the concerns and implement the recommendations contained in the opinion”.

On 25 April 2013, the PACE’s Monitoring Committee recommended to the Assembly to open a monitoring procedure in respect of Hungary. On 30 May, the Bureau of the Assembly did not support the opening of such procedure.

Ten of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are currently subject to the Assembly’s monitoring procedure (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine) and four are subject to “post-monitoring dialogue” (Bulgaria, Monaco, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey).

The monitoring procedure involves regular visits to the monitored country to assess progress and engage in dialogue with the authorities, political forces, judiciary and civil society, as well as periodic evaluations debated by the Assembly.