Minority SafePack

Minority SafePack: More than 700,000 signatures and only 300,000 to go

More than 100 million people live in Europe as national minorities. Many of them enjoy the necessary, basic rights in the country where they reside. But not all. Many ethnic minorities, like the ethnic Hungarians living outside of Hungary in the Carpathian Basin, do not enjoy the same rights. And we can find many such examples across Europe. That’s exactly what the Minority SafePack European Citizens’ Initiative is all about.

Introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) offers the opportunity for the citizens of Europe to call directly on the European Commission to…

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Editorial February 28, 2018

Economy

We should continue our fight to protect the reduction of utility costs

Last Wednesday the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee adopted a legislative package that will define the future of the electricity market. The review of the electricity market regulation and directive is another step towards the unified, consumer-oriented Energy Union and energy markets. “Member States should not lose the possibility to intervene in prices in the energy market in favor of their citizens,” said András Gyürk, head of Hungary’s EPP delegation and member of the Committee.

Compared to the stringency of the rapporteur’s original proposal, we have managed to significantly tone down those sections of the draft that deal…

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András Gyürk February 28, 2018

Migration

The UN’s recipe to make migration a fundamental human right

The zero draft of the United Nations’ migration pact blurs the distinction between refugees and migrants and appears to accommodate legal and illegal migration alike as “a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development.”

Furthermore, the document, said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his State of the Nation speech on Sunday, “asserts that safe and regulated immigration routes must be created in Europe. The UN asserts that it is every European’s duty to help the immigrants coming to their countries to settle and find jobs.” That’s a significant departure.

This draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration…

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Editorial February 20, 2018

Europe

Frank Füredi: The cultural wars over values resemble the religious wars

In his latest book entitled “Populism and the European Culture Wars,” renowned sociologist Frank Füredi argues that the cultural wars in Europe are about the interaction of Christianity and Islam, the meaning of European culture and the clash between multiculturalism and nationalism. At a book launch event in the European Parliament, hosted by MEP György Schöpflin, Professor Füredi said that behind this antagonism we find conflicts today around national sovereignty and the role of the nation state.

The overarching supranational ideology of the EU’s institutions denounces the idea of national sovereignty as an obsolete and destructive concept, Füredi writes in…

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Editorial February 15, 2018

Europe

A transnational list would have created a more distant, less democratic EU

To strengthen the EU, we must all work to close the gap between European institutions and European citizens. That’s the position of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the one that the Hungarian EPP delegation has advocated for some time. After all, European integration is for the people and not the other way around. Last week’s rejection of the transnational list for EP elections – by an overwhelming majority of MEPs – is absolutely a step in the right direction.
As a result of Brexit, the planned departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union will vacate 73 seats in…

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György Schöpflin February 15, 2018

Editorial

PM Orbán on the Visegrád Four: “Our goal is for Europe to be stronger”

“We – V4 countries – have become a group of countries with independent economic performance, the fastest developing region in Europe,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, adding that “that does not diminish the strength of Europe but adds to it.”

The prime minister was speaking at a gathering of heads of government of the Visegrad Four that took place late last month in Budapest under the banner, “The Future of Europe.”

A few years ago, not many would have predicted that the Visegrad countries would become the driving force behind Europe’s economic growth. Today, the four countries share much in common,…

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Editorial February 7, 2018

Environment

Giving bees the place they deserve in the heart of the EU’s common agricultural policy

The EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has finally approved the Honey Report, a study on the conditions facing European beekeepers and honey producers that has been the focus of my work for months.

The report enjoyed nearly full support in the expert committee. It’s quite rare, I noted shortly after the vote, that all parliamentary groups agree on a matter of such importance, and this vote clearly reflects a unity on the issue of protecting beekeepers and bees. As an MEP for Hungary, which is a major producer of honey, I understand how vital is this issue.

Beekeeping and…

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Norbert Erdős January 30, 2018

European People's Party

Look behind the curtain!

Europe is one of the richest and freest regions in the world. It is the talent and enduring diligence of the European people that made her like this. Colossal economic, social and cultural power. As a vanguard of global change for centuries, Europe has demonstrated her capacity for unprecedented and outstanding achievement.

Over the course of the past century the people of Europe – learning from their past tragedies – have demolished the obstacles that would prevent the continent from reaching its full potential. They overthrew the totalitarian dictatorships of national socialists and communists. They established the rule of law,…

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József Szájer January 4, 2018

Editorial

The Hungary debate is about sovereignty, not democracy, says human rights expert

European Parliament hearings on Hungary raise sharp questions about the undefined competencies between the Union and the Member States, according to the head of a leading Hungarian think tank.

The debate is not about democracy or the rule of law but rather about sovereignty, according to Miklós Szánthó, president of the Center for Fundamental Rights. Testifying before the LIBE Committee at a hearing in December, Szánthó said that the heated debate is taking place not only between Brussels and national governments or parliaments but also in the judicial realm, between national constitutional courts – such as the Czech, German and…

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Editorial January 2, 2018

Editorial

MEP Schöpflin: the colonialist arrogance of the liberal elite makes them intolerant

The international liberal elite’s “colonialist arrogance,” said Fidesz MEP György Schöpflin in a recent interview with Hungarian daily Magyar Idők, attempts to stigmatize all other viewpoints as populism. The conservative MEP slammed the superficial approach of certain politicians who lecture their opponents instead of debating them and are intolerant of political views that differ from their own.

“I am certain that the outcome of the ongoing LIBE debates will be nothing more than a new version of the Tavares Report,” Schöpflin said, referring to the latest attempt to apply political pressure on the Orbán Government. “This once again reaffirms…

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December 19, 2017