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Friday, March 8, 2013

U.S. EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER AMENDMENTS TO HUNGARIAN CONSTITUTION

 Gothic Revival Hungarian Parliament Building on the West side of the Danube.
FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Proposed Amendments to the Hungarian Constitution
Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 7, 2013
 

The United States shares the concerns expressed by the Council of Europe about proposed amendments to the Hungarian constitution. These amendments deserve closer scrutiny and more deliberate consideration, as they could threaten the principles of institutional independence and checks and balances that are the hallmark of democratic governance.

The United States urges the Government of Hungary and the Parliament to ensure that the process of considering amendments to the constitution demonstrates respect for the rule of law and judicial review, openness to the views of other stakeholders across Hungarian society, and continuing receptiveness to the expertise of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.

ADDITONAL INFORMATION FROM CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism." Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU five years later. In 2011, Hungary assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU for the first time.