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MEMO/12/40

Brussels, 24 January 2012

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán

"I received today Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to discuss the situation in Hungary. We had a comprehensive and constructive discussion. The Prime Minister indicated Hungary's readiness to address swiftly the issues raised by the Commission.

On 17 January 2012, the Commission launched infringement procedures relating to a number of new provisions in Hungarian legislation, namely the independence of the country's central bank, data protection authority and certain measures affecting its judiciary. The Commission asked for detailed answers from the Hungarian authorities within a month. I have clarified with Prime Minister Orbán the work ahead that is needed to speedily address the Commission’s legal concerns. The services of the Commission have already started to work on this with the Hungarian authorities. They are ready to fully assess the formal answers from the Hungarian side as soon as we receive them. The same is valid for the information request on the independence of the judiciary.

It is essential for the European Commission to make sure that EU law, both in letter and in spirit, is fully respected by Hungary, as by any other Member State. I also reiterated that there are wider political concerns that the Hungarian Government needs to address. At a time of economic and financial crisis, confidence of citizens and markets in Hungary remain particularly crucial."


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