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Contributions of Hungarian CSOs to the European Comission’s Rule of Law Report 2023

Contributions of Hungarian CSOs to the European Comission’s Rule of Law Report 2023

In 2022, the Government of Hungary made some important steps to upgrade the country’s rule of law performance, although not in response to the findings and recommendations included in the 2022 Rule of Law Report, but as part of 1) the conditionality mechanism triggered by the European Commission and 2) the negotiations over Hungary’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. The 17 commitments made by the Hungarian government, embedded in the altogether 27 socalled “super” milestones, relate to the Hungarian control system aiming at the protection of the financial interests of the European Union.

Hungarian CSOs have closely monitored the process leading up to the definition of the milestones and have assessed the measures taken by the Hungarian government to implement the commitments made in the framework of the conditionality mechanism. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, K-Monitor and Transparency International Hungary (TI Hungary) concluded in their joint evaluation  published in October 2022 that the Hungarian government delivered its commitments in a disappointing manner, which therefore result “in changes that remain insufficient to protect the Union budget”.

In lack of substantial progress, the organisations reiterated their concerns in November 2022.  In addition, K-Monitor summarized a number of topics that remained unaddressed by the remedial measures. Among these are issues covered by the 2022 recommendations, such as lobbying or revolving doors. Neither did the measures deal with creating a better track record of criminal investigations nor did the system of asset declarations fundamentally change.

Despite the reforms, Hungary’s institutional landscape remains mainly untouched, which guarantees the survival of the ecosystem of corruption and gives reason to suppose that newly devised mechanisms aiming to curb corruption will have limited impact in practice.

The Anti-Corruption Framework, the joint analysis by K-Monitor and TI Hungary may be read in the document attached to this article. The chapter starts on the page n. 25. This year’s Contribution is written by nine CSOs, Amnesty International Hungary, Eötvös Károly Institute, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, K-Monitor, Mertek Media Monitor, Political Capital and Transparency International Hungary.

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