Left Menu
Development News Edition

Hungary faces increasing calls to join new EU prosecution body

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 05-06-2019 23:18 IST | Created: 05-06-2019 20:57 IST
Hungary faces increasing calls to join new EU prosecution body
Hungary has a population of about 10 million people. The signatures were gathered with the help of liberal and left-wing opposition parties. Image Credit: Twitter(@Fabiolucv)

An opposition politician has collected 680,000 signatures to push for Hungarian membership of a planned European Union prosecutor's office (EPPO), a step rejected by Budapest's eurosceptic nationalist government. Due to be launched in 2020, the EPPO will be geared to investigating and pressing criminal charges in cases crossing borders of the EU, particularly fraud and corruption affecting the bloc's budget. Twenty-two of the EU's 28 member countries are participating in the EPPO so far.

"This (petition) action is a protest," opposition politician Akos Hadhazy, a pro-EU liberal and anti-graft campaigner, said in a statement, thanking 26,000 activists who helped him collect the signatures, which have yet to be authenticated. "Now it's up to EU institutions to increase pressure on the Hungarian government unless they want European taxpayers to finance a regime that openly works against the EU."

Hungary has a population of about 10 million people. The signatures were gathered with the help of liberal and left-wing opposition parties. Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party have long refused to join EPPO, saying that prosecutorial powers should remain at the nation-state level.

Hungary is one of six EU member countries outside EPPO as of now, alongside Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Britain. Orban, who has brought wide areas of public life under Fidesz control including the judiciary and media, has faced accusations of corruption but no high-profile investigations have been launched by chief public prosecutor Peter Polt, a political appointee taken from the ranks of Fidesz.

Polt's authority would be undercut if Hungary joined EPPO. Polt, whose mandate expires later this year, was unavailable for immediate comment on the petition drive. An Orban spokesman did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment. Transparency International has for years described the situation in Hungary as "state capture", in which Orban has allegedly used public institutions for the benefit of Fidesz and his business associates.

A string of businessmen close to Orban, including relatives, have risen to prominence since Fidesz won the election in 2010, commanding as much as a quarter of all public procurement spending from EU and local funds. Orban has denied corruption accusations and said that if anyone knows of illegalities they should report them to the authorities.

Hadhazy asserts that Hungarian prosecutors work to shield Orban, not to enforce the law - a shield the premier would lose if EU funding fraud cases could be prosecuted at a supra-national level. "Hungarians want no corruption... They support joining the (EPPO)," Hadhazy said.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

5G will be the key driving force for COVID-19 recovery: Here's how?

... ...

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

Videos

Latest News

Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services raises Rs 3,089 cr

Mahindra Mahindra Financial Services, a non-banking financial arm of Mahindra Group, on Wednesday said it has raised Rs 3,088.82 crore through a rights issue which was oversubscribed. The issue, which opened for subscription on July 28, wa...

Jordan to close border with Syria after spike in COVID-19 cases

Jordan will close its land trade border crossing with Syria for a week after a rise in COVID-19 cases coming from its northern neighbour, officials said on Wednesday. The interior ministers decision to close the Jaber crossing, a main gatew...

India-Bangladesh building maritime ties to easily ship goods to NorthEast India

Shipping goods from Kolkata to northeastern states is costlier and time-consuming. The chickens neck or the 22-km wide Siliguri corridor is the only land-based connection to northeastern states of India. However, with the strengthening of I...

NSUI members held for trying to barge into Telangana CM's camp office

As many as 31 members of NSUI were on Wednesday arrested when they attempted to lay siege to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Raos official residence-cum camp office here protesting the governments move to conduct entrance exams in ...

Give Feedback