Debate on the new Hungarian Fundamental Law and Cardinal Laws in the European Parliament

Publicated on: January 21, 2012

In a debate on Hungary in the European Parliament on Wednesday, Viktor Orbán said that the renewal and restructuring of Hungary are based on European principles; he pointed out that questions will naturally arise when there is renewal of such magnitude and momentum.

The Fundamental Law of Hungary (constitution) entered into force on January 1, 2012. The government invited all Hungarian citizens entitled to vote to the preparation of the Fundamental Law. Under the aegis of the National Consultation more than 1 million citizens had their say about the new constitution. The proposal on the new Fundamental Law, which was in turn, submitted to Parliament, incorporated the results of the National Consultation. The completion of the institutional transition has taken place in Hungary only recently while Hungary had, up until January 1, 2012, a constitution dating from 1949 and modified on October 23, 1989, as a temporary constitution to ensure the legal framework for the political transition. Hungary has been the last among the countries in the region to adopt a new constitution since the Fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. All the other former East Bloc countries already passed a new constitution in the 1990’s, with Poland considered as „the last” in 1997.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other leaders of the governing party Fidesz struggled for the toppling of the communist dictatorship back in the 1980’s in order to create a democratic Hungary based on the rule of law providing freedom and security for its citizens. The new Fundamental Law provides both freedom and security. It reinforces the freedom of religion while churches and religious communities are recognized as particularly important factors of social cohesion and cultural values.

Our new Fundamental Law expresses Hungary’s commitment to the common values of the European Union, and it vindicates the individual as well as the collective rights of all citizens and all ethnic groups in Hungary. It also defines the citizens’ fundamental rights according to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. With the adoption of the new constitution Hungary has reinforced its commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law. Our country upholds its parliamentary traditions in the framework of our republican form of Government, and it maintains those state institutions that have proved their efficiency.

Click here to read the statements of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Strasbourg.