New article w/ Balazs Horvathy: Europeanization of the Hungarian Legal Order: From Convergence to Cancellation?

Reviewing European Union Accession

Unexpected Results, Spillover Effects, and Externalities

Tom Hashimoto and Michael Rhimes

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Book Review – Democratizing Central and Eastern Europe

I wrote a book review about a book on the democratisation efforts of the EU in Eastern Europe (about Luca Tomini’s Democratizing Central and Eastern Europe – Successes and Failures of the European Union. 2015. Routledge).

The book is an interesting attempt to summarize the actions of governments in certain countries of the region. It presents an analysis to the reader about the major changes of governance in some Eastern European countries (like Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia). This analysis can be very useful for readers who do not know too much about these countries, and want to have a basic sketch.

The review can be accessed here, or by clicking on the image above.

 

My lecture in Italy

As mentioned before, I gave a lecture at the Italian National Research Council about Hungary’s actions regarding refugees and the connection of legislative/political changes to European human rights (esp. EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights) in Rome.  The lecture was given in the framework of a joint research project of the Institute for International Legal Studies and the Hungarian Acadey of Sciences on refugee protection.

 

I am grateful for the colleagues at the Institute for International Legal Studies for their cooperation and their support. The slides of my lecture can be downloaded here. They can be useful for anyone who wants to have a draft about Hungary and the international/European standards regarding asylum seekers.

Will visit the Institute for International Legal Studies in Rome

We (ie. the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Institute for International Legal Studies) have a joint research project on refugee protection and EU law/international law standards, I will give a lecture this week on Friday. I am extremely happy to visit Rome, the Institute and the Italian colleagues!

 

The slides of my lectures at the University of Bergen (Faculty of Law)

I am very grateful to the Bergen University community, had a wonderful time at the university, the city was beautiful, the discussion was inspiring and I enjoyed my stay a lot. 

I attach the slides of my lectures below:

  • The slides of the first lecture (given for the Research Group in Competition & Market Law) about the connection between EU single market rules, non-discrimination of foreign companies and the new system of oligarchs (Nationalism vs. the single European market – the case of Hungary) can be accessed here.
  • The slides of the second one, a more general lecture (given for Project Group on Constitutional law and Democracy) about the changes of rule of law in Hungary and their connection with EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights (Constitutionalism, rule of law and the Hungarian phenomenon)  can be accessed here.

Please find my blog entry about the collection of related publications in these fields here, they can serve of interest to anyone who wants to know more abut Hungary’s position within the EU. I also added some more pictures of the university. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Hungary and the EU – a collection of articles

I wrote quite a lot of articles about the conflict between Hungary and the EU in the last 5-6 years.  I also know some articles written by colleagues which can be interesting for scholars worldwide, so I decided to make a collection of them (please find them below).

 

  • Balázs Horváthy, Tamas Dezso Ziegler: Europeanisation Of The Hungarian Legal Order – From Convergence To Divergence. In: REVIEWING THE 10 YEARS OF CEE ACCESSION: SPILLOVER EFFECTS, UNEXPECTED RESULTS, AND EXTERNALITIES. (Hrsg. William B. Simons & Tom Hashimoto). Brill, Leiden-Boston. (soon to get published)
  • The Links Between Human Rights and the Single European Market – Discrimination and Systemic Infringement. Comparative Law Review, Vol 7, 2016 No 1 1-23. available here.
  • When The European Moral Vacuum Meets The Hungarian Autocratic Regime. SOCIAL EUROPE – Occasional paper, 2014 October, available hereAn extended version of this article (which also includes some references), published on Open Democracy,  can be accessed here.
  • Protectionism – A Side Effect of Hungarian Nationalism. SOCIAL EUROPE, available here.
  • In Defence of Today’s Anti-Fascist Protesters. OPEN DEMOCRACY, available here.
  • An introduction into Hungarian national thinking about history and comparison to the UK national thinking: together w/ Izolda Takacs: Myth of History, Euro-scepticism and Fundamental Rights) written for OPENDEMOCRACY, available here.

I also wrote a series of blog entries for London School of Economics – EUROPP back in 2012, when anti-democratic legislation started to flourish in Hungary:

  • The Anti-Democratic Tendencies Now Prominent In Some Parts Of Eastern Europe May Soon Become An Even Bigger Headache For The EU Than The Eurozone Crisis, available here
  • w/ Izolda Takacs: Hungary is Sleepwalking Into an Authoritarian state. But the European Union Is Limited In the Pressure It Is Able To Exert, available here.
  • w/ Izolda Takacs: With the Ruling Party’s Legislative Tsunami, Hungary May Now Be Sleepwalking Into An Authoritarian State, available here.
  • w/ Izolda Takacs: Hungary is Now a Distorted Democracy, available here.

Some other works of my colleagues can also be of interest for you. Please note these are only a handful of articles which I came across in the last months/years, but they contain some really interesting information:

  • Veronika Czina: Member State Particularism within the EU: an Analysis Based on the Most Recent Developments of the “Hungarian affair” UACES Conference Paper, available here.
  • The website of the `Lendulet Research Group on EU law` also contains a great amount of interesting materials including reports and articles. It can be accessed here.
  • A nice and really detailed report on single market and Hungary (called ‘The Legal and Regulatory Environment for Economic Activity in Hungary: Market Access and Level Playing-field in the Single Market’) can be accessed here.
  • A nice collection of articles on the change of the general constitutional framework in Hungary published in the journal Südost-Europa (Hungary’s Path Towards an Illiberal System Volume 63 no. 2 2015): the content and introduction is  available here.
  • It can be worth to read the chapter of Balazs Majtenyi (pp. 51-74) on the constitutional changes in Hungary (The EU and the Hungarioan National Cooperatrion System) in an FP7 report called `EU Human rights, democracy and rule of law: from concepts to practice`  (available here).
  • Balazs Majtenyi: Legislative Stupidities in the New Hungarian Constitution originally published in Rivista Pace Diritti Umani (Peace, Human Rights) is available here
  • Balazs Majtenyi: A Game of Values: Particular National Identities Awaken in Europe, published on Verfassungsblog, available here.
  • Gabor Halmai: An Illiberal Constitutional System in the Middle of Europe, published in European Yearbook of Hunar Rights, can be accessed here.
  • Kim Lane Scheppele wrote a huge amount of articles on the constitutional changes in Hungary, see the Princeton’s repository here.
  • Bojan Bugarič: Protecting Democracy and the Rule of Law in the European Union: The Hungarian Challenge. LSE discussion paper, available here. 
  • Boldizsar Nagy: Parallel realities: refugees seeking asylum in Europe and Hungary’s reaction (EU Migration Law Blog),  available here.
  • Boldizsar`s article `Hungarian Asylum Law and Policy in 2015–2016: Securitization Instead of Loyal Cooperation`published in German Law Journal can be accessed here.
  • Gabor Halmai: The Invalid Anti-Migrant Referendum in Hungary, published on verfassungsblog, available here.
  • Cass Mudde and Erin K. Jenne: Hungary’s Illiberal Turn: Can Outsiders Help? available here.

A kérdőívező diktatúra #IstandwithCEU #aCEUvalvagyok

Hétfőn az ELTE TáTK-on tiltakozó előadásokat tartottunk a CEU, illetve az akadémiai szabadság elleni barbár kormányzati támadásra reagálva. Jómagam arról beszéltem, hogy hogyan deformálta az autoriter szemlélet az elmúlt években a kormány tevékenységét. E szerint a primitív szemlélet szerint az élet kérdéseire csupán egy jó válasz adható, miközben egy, a szabadságra épülő, nyitott társadalomban az emberek tisztában vannak azzal, hogy tolerancia szükséges az együttélés kereteinek megteremtéséhez. Ilyen értelemben pedig a FIDESz elnyomó rendszere nem a liberálisokkal áll szemben, hanem a demokratákkal, legyenek azok liberálisok, szociál-demokraták, vagy éppen konzervatívok. Nem véletlen, hogy utóbbi csoportból is egyre többen vetik fel, hogy szép fokozatosan utóbbi párt egy elnyomó, korrupt, szélsőjobboldali mozgalommá alakította át magát, a demokratikus értékekre épített konzervativizmus helyett.

Az előadásom diái itt, vagy a fenti képre kattintva is elérhetőek.

Szerencsére sokan voltak:

Gave two special lectures for our students

In the first lecture I talked about Hungary’s  illiberal turn and especially about the transformation of the domestic free market into a less competitive, centrally governed market in which state capture and oligarchs dominate. I used examples from Hungarian history to show such actions have historical tradition in the country, and I explained why there is a conflict between EU law and government policies. You find the slides of the lecture here.

hangya

Second, we watched the movie Sin nombre, and after watching it I gave a small presentation (in Hungarian) about US and Central American gangs, and especially about Mara Salvatrucha. Since following gang/maffia related conflicts in the US is one of my hobbies, I enjoyed talking about them a lot, even though this is not srrictly related to my scientific work . You can download the slides here.

sn

Found a highly interesting paper on a new institution

available on ssrn here

Upholding the Rule of Law in the EU: On the Commission’s ‘Pre-Article 7 Procedure’ as a Timid Step in the Right Direction


Dimitry Kochenov


Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; University of Groningen – Faculty of Law

Laurent Pech


Middlesex University – School of Law

April 2015

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/24
Abstract:

This paper provides a detailed analysis of two institutional reforms, respectively put forward by the European Commission in March 2014 and by the Council of the EU in December 2014 – on how to tackle the problem of Member States’ non-compliance with the principle of the rule of law, which is one of the fundamental values of the Union according to Article 2 TEU. It is submitted that while both proposals definitely represent a timid step in the right direction, the Commission’s ‘light-touch’ proposal falls short of what is required to effectively address ongoing and serious threats to the rule of law within the EU but is however clearly preferable to the Council’s alternative proposal to hold an annual rule of law dialogue among all Member States within the Council itself.

Refugees in Hungary – recent events in light of the migration policy of the EU

!!! Unfortunately, I had to skip the conference below – however, for those who have time, it still could be of interest.

The Project for Democratic Union’s Budapest Office is partnering with AEGEE-Budapest in organizing a Conference on the European refugee crisis. The primary focus of the event will be Hungarian migration and refugee policy in light of general European practice.

20689706349_94ebb52bde_o

For many years the migration of European citizens within the EU has been causing worries due to its effect on the European labour market. Due to the high number of foreign job-seekers, governments of some Member States have raised their voices and called for urgent action and the reform of the EU’s migration policy. At the same time, the question of refugees coming from third countries – mainly war-zones – has been brought to the fore, after several accidents have occurred in the Mediterranean Sea.

Initially, only Mediterranean states were concerned by this situation, but lately other border countries of the EU, such as Bulgaria and Hungary, have become affected by the massive flow of often illegal immigrants and refugees. Although the EU is trying to find a coordinated answer to the problem, some countries managed to receive opt-outs and were able to carry out unilateral responses to this unprecedented situation. However, these practices are not far from being dangerous because in countries where extremism and xenophobia are on the rise, such as Hungary or Poland, they can result in a hostile attitude and hatred towards the people in despair.

Hungary’s fence erected on its Serbian border is only one example of the questionable methods EU Member States are using to solve the refugee crisis. The conference will address the Hungarian migration and refugee policy in light of the general European practice. It will also cover the EU’s current attempts to reform its migration policy and to show paths towards an acceptable solution to the situation.

Speakers:

Péter Balázs – Professor at Central European University, former Member of the European Commission, former Foreign Minister of Hungary

Carlos Puente – Economist, Attorney at Law, Political Scientist, Senior Visting Professor

Dezső Tamás Ziegler – Senior Lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University – Faculty of Social Sciences, Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Institute for Legal Studies

Event audience: Open to Public

For any further questions you may contact: Veronika Czina from PDU Budapest veronika.czina@democraticunion.eu or Péter Sczigel from AEGEE-Budapest peter.sczigel@aegee-budapest.hu

Corvinus University
Fővám tér 8 – Budapest

Date/Time
Date(s) – 23/09/2015
7:10 pm – 8:40 pm

Location
Corvinus University
Fővám tér 8
Budapest, Hungary

Balázs Majtényi on the FRAME blog: Particularism Strikes Back: National Identity versus Human Rights in the Hungarian Fundamental Law

Hungarian parliament_Flickr_artorusrex_small

“Since 2010, the Hungarian government has increasingly committed itself to the majoritarian conception of democracy, meaning that nobody and nothing, not even independent international or state and civil institutions, can stand in the way of the will of the majority serving national interests. In this article I will analyse the constitutional background of the political turn in Hungary.”

You find the original blog post here

Report of CoE on Hungary

An excellent report on Hungary was published recently by CoE. The report can be reached here. It focuses on three topics: 1) Media freedom 2) Fight against intollerance and discrimination 3) Human rights of migrants and refugees

The contents reach a wide range of topics, some of the most important problems we face day-by-day. Pls find below the content of the work.

Summary

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
1 Media freedom ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
1.1 Hungary’s media legislation and the right to freedom of expression ………………………………………………9
1.1.1 Media content regulation…………………………………………………………………………………………………….9
1.1.2 Imposition of sanctions on the media………………………………………………………………………………….10
1.1.3 Protection of journalists’ sources………………………………………………………………………………………..11
1.1.4 Registration requirements …………………………………………………………………………………………………12
1.1.5 Problems relating to the independence of media regulatory bodies ………………………………………12
1.1.6 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….13
1.2 Threats to media pluralism………………………………………………………………………………………………………14
1.2.1 Advertising market……………………………………………………………………………………………………………14
1.2.2 Tax on advertising …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….15
1.2.3 Political party advertising …………………………………………………………………………………………………..15
1.2.4 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….16
1.3 The need to decriminalise defamation………………………………………………………………………………………16
1.3.1 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….17

2 The fight against intolerance and discrimination ……………………………………………………………………….. 18
2.1 The rise of racism and intolerance in Hungary ……………………………………………………………………………18
2.1.1 Anti-Gypsyism…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..18
2.1.2 Antisemitism…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….19
2.1.3 Xenophobia ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..19
2.1.4 Extremist organisations……………………………………………………………………………………………………..20
2.1.5 The response of the Hungarian authorities…………………………………………………………………………..21
2.1.6 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….23
2.2 The need to fight against Discrimination……………………………………………………………………………………25
2.2.1 General context………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..25
2.2.1.1 Conclusion and recommendations ………………………………………………………………………………….25
2.2.2 Discrimination against Roma………………………………………………………………………………………………25
2.2.2.1 Conclusions and recommendations ……………………………………………………………………………………..27
2.2.3 Discrimination against persons with disabilities ……………………………………………………………………28
2.2.3.1 Conclusions and recommendations ……………………………………………………………………………………..30
2.2.4 Discrimination against LGBTI persons………………………………………………………………………………….32
2.2.4.1 Conclusions and recommendations ……………………………………………………………………………………..33
2.2.5 Discrimination on grounds of socio-economic status …………………………………………………………….33
2.2.5.1 Conclusions and recommendations ……………………………………………………………………………………..353
3 Human rights of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees …………………………………………………………. 36
3.1 Detention of Asylum seekers……………………………………………………………………………………………………36
3.1.1 Shortcomings of the current detention regime …………………………………………………………………….37
3.1.2 Vulnerable asylum seekers…………………………………………………………………………………………………38
3.1.3 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….38
3.2 Integration of refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection…………………………………..40
3.2.1 Integration framework ………………………………………………………………………………………………………40
3.2.2 Family reunification…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..40
3.2.3 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….41
3.3 Statelessness …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………42
3.3.1 Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………………………………………….43

New article – When The European Moral Vacuum Meets The Hungarian Autocratic Regime

Hungary is obviously moving towards autocracy. But we have to ask ourselves two questions. Would it be useful for the EU to introduce measures against a country with democratic problems? Secondly, is Europe in the moral, political and economic state to be able to act? Both questions require thorough deliberation. 

The article can be reached here, or by clicking on the images below.

opendemocracy_logo

social europe log

 

A Hungarian language version of the article was created by Budapest Beacon (Mikor az európai morális vákum talűlkozik a magyar önkényuralmi rendszerrel), which can be reached here or by clicking below.

beacon

 

 

 

Gave a presentation for the “Occupy the University (Hallgatói Hálózat)” students (in Hungarian)

The students continously protest against the present anti-democratic government. I recapped the present situation of Hungary with especial regard to the provisions of the European Union and the possible protection provided by the CoE.

A short Hungarian language summary can be found here.

A nice commentary on Hungary’s unconstitutional constitution available on the website of Princeton University

Opinion on the Fundamental Law of Hungary

Authors: 

Zoltán Fleck, Gábor Gadó, Gábor Halmai, Szabolcs Hegyi, Gábor
Juhász, János Kis, Zsolt Körtvélyesi, Balázs Majtényi, Gábor Attila
Tóth,

Edited by:

Professor Andrew Arato, New School for Social Research, New York,
Professor Gábor Halmai, Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem,
Budapest,
Professor János Kis, Central European University, Budapest

Pls find the material here.

New Article on LSE EUROPP – The anti-democratic tendencies now prominent in some parts of Eastern Europe may soon become an even bigger headache for the EU than the Eurozone crisis

Twelve countries have joined the EU since 2004, with Croatia’s accession expected in 2013. Tamas Dezso Czigler argues that while the Eurozone’s economic problems are currently dominating attention, the EU is also facing a growing crisis in the new accession countries, with a number of Eastern European states exhibiting anti-democratic tendencies. The article warns that problems in Eastern Europe also threaten to derail wider reform processes within the EU.

The article can be found here.

…and the third piece on LSE EUROPP – Why the system of EU is inadequate in protecting human rights…

Pls find my latest piece on LSE EUROPP

Hungary is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state. But the European Union is limited in the pressure it is able to exert.

Hungary is a member of the European Union (EU), but the country is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state, argueTamas Dezso Czigler and Izolda Takacs. In their third post on Hungary’s government, they explore measures that the EU could take in order to sanction the country, some which may be more effective than others.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2012/05/21/hungary-eu-role/#more-3018

Second part of the series on London School of Economics – European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) blog

Pls find the second article of the series on London School of Economics – European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) blog  about the recent changes in Hungary.

Hungary is a member of the European Union, but the country is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state, argue Tamas Dezo Czigler and Izolda Takacs. In their second of three articles for EUROPP, they argue that the new governing coalition has overhauled the country’s electoral and judicial system, violated the independence of the Hungarian central bank and invaded citizens’ private lives.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2012/05/17/hungary-authoritarian-2/#more-2947

Article on OpenDemocracy

Pls find my latest article on Open Democracy about the connections between Euro-scepticism, extremism and history in the UK and in Hungary:

If we want to develop effective co-operation within and among the member states of the EU, history should be kept at a distance. Living in the past is not feasible, and this is equally true for Euro-scepticism, the application of human rights as well as the fight against racism and extremism…

In our opinion, the future of a state cannot be based solely on emotional foundations. For economic problems, economic measures must take centre stage. Exaggerated emotions should be consigned to where they belong: to museums.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/tamas-dezso-czigler-izolda-takacs/myths-of-history-euro-scepticism-and-fundamental-rights#_ednref

Article on London School of Economics – European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) blog

Pls find my latest article on London School of Economics – European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) blog  about the recent changes in Hungary.

“Has Hungary become an authoritarian state? In their first of three articles on the Hungarian government, Tamas Dezso Czigler and Izolda Takacs argue that the country has become a distorted democracy on the brink of autocracy. Worryingly, the vast majority of Hungarians do not seem to be alarmed by these.” 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2012/05/15/hungary-distorted-democracy/

New article on nationalism and the single European market

Pls find my latest article “Protectionism – The Side Effect of Hungarian Nationalism” on Social Europe Journal (Part of Guardian Comment Network)

Hungary’s government has lately found itself in the cross hairs of critics both international and domestic. Its detractors point to two major issues. First is the barrage of potentially anti-democratic and positively useless laws that have been adopted over a single year, including a new constitution, media law, acts affecting the judicial and electoral systems, governance of the national bank and more – three hundred laws so far…  Secondly, due to the economic crisis and the bad and unimaginative economic policies of the present and earlier governments in Budapest, fiscal policy has become subject to harsh criticism… However, besides fears for democracy and worries over economic problems, there is a third issue regarding Hungary which has been overlooked by the media – the conflict between the founding principles of the common European market and nationalistic protectionism: recently, free movement of goods into Hungary, the free establishment of companies and guaranteeing fair competition all seem to have been impaired.

http://www.social-europe.eu/2012/04/protectionism-the-side-effect-of-hungarian-nationalism/