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MEMO/12/17

Brussels, 17 January 2012

European Commission opens accelerated infringement proceedings against Hungary

President Barroso said on behalf of the College:

"The College has just decided to launch infringement proceedings against Hungary on three issues: the independence of the national central bank, the retirement age of judges and the independence of the data protection authority. At the same time, we are sending a wider information request to the Hungarian authorities on the issue of the independence of the judiciary.

This is the result of a sound legal analysis which the Commission has completed swiftly.

We hoped that the Hungarian authorities would make the changes necessary to guarantee respect of EU law. This has not been the case so far, therefore we have decided to begin infringement proceedings.

The decisions we have taken today are a reflection of our determination to make sure that EU law, both in letter and in spirit are fully respected and a stable legal environment exists in all of our Member States.

Hungary is a key member of the European family. We do not want the shadow of doubt on respect for democratic principles and values to remain over the country any longer. The quicker that this is resolved the better. I am pleased that Prime Minister Orban has decided to come to meet me in Brussels next Tuesday, the 24th January to discuss our concerns".


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