The Eötvös Károly Institute strives to improve and strengthen the citizens political culture based on the spirit of solidarity.
3 December, 2013
Constitutional Court: Covert surveillance based on ministerial permission does not violate the right to privacy
In its decision made in November 2013, the Constitutional Court of Hungary did not found to be in contradiction to the right to privacy that the power of a counter-terrorism organization to collect covert intelligence upon citizens is based on a simple ministerial permission without a court warrant.
6 September, 2012
Amicus Brief to the procedure based on Action brought on 7 June 2012 by the European Commission
as representatives of an institution of public policy committed to constitutionalism in Hungary, as Amicus Curiae, in order to assist the decision-making of the Court, we wish to add the following arguments to those of the European Commission and commend them to the attention of the Court. In our view, the Court should accept the action brought by the European Commission.
A criticism of the Hungarian Act on Media Services and Mass Media, Effective January 1st, 2011
On the public nature of court trials
Draft agreement on reforming party and campaign finance
Press release on the fiasco of five-party negotiations on party and campaign finance
Early in 2007, the Eötvös Károly Institute proposed five-party negotiations to review current regulations of party and campaign finance–rules that remain impossible to observe, continually undermine the esteem of the republic, and inevitably lead to corruption. The parliamentary parties accepted the Institute’s invitation and, during the period from March 27 to July 12, held a series of consultation sessions attended by designated representatives from the parties. On the initiative of the FIDESZ, the Eötvös Károly Institute itself and the Nézőpont Institute were invited to help organize the round of talks.
Communiqué on party and campaign finance and the responsibility of politicians
Concerning the execution of the death sentence of Saddam Hussein
“In the hierarchy of principles informing Hungary’s constitutional system, no value stands higher than that of human life. The right to the absolute values of life and dignity erects barriers even before the penalizing powers of the state. What follows from this constitutional tenet is not just the ban on capital punishment in the Republic of Hungary, but also the country’s obligation to oppose the death penalty as such. Therefore, under no circumstances may Hungary welcome the execution of a death sentence elsewhere, even if that sentence happens to have been just and well-deserved in the private opinion of one of the servants of the Republic.”
On documenting cabinet sessions: Reply by Speaker of the House Dr. Katalin Szili
The way out of political crisis
In the history of what is known as the Third Republic in Hungary, never since the Antall-Tölgyessy Pact has the need for sensible collaboration between the government and the opposition been so pressing. Then again, the chances to achieve that cooperation have never been so slim. And yet, the government and the opposition ought to mount a concerted effort, for the benefit of the community of voters, to set aside their differences and pave the way for a series of general and specialized political decisions, ultimately adopting the most significant of these in concord. What is called for is a covenant capable of closing down certain theaters of operation of the reigning and futile political stalemate, while preserving the political elbow room of each opponent.
On documenting cabinet sessions
Hungary continues to suffer in the throes of a protracted political crisis. The history of the Third Republic had been free from political violence until recently, when the public spaces of Budapest were taken over, for varying lengths of time, by street fighters both uniformed and civilian. Equally unprecedented was the publication with impunity, in the October 17 issue of a daily closely linked to one of the political factions, of language purely insane on any level of textual interpretation, which incited racially motivated violence so extreme as to include murder. Such phenomena fill almost every Hungarian citizen with well-founded trepidation. without regard to political standpoint. This anxiety is only aggravated if the police responds to violence by violating laws in its turn. Irrespectively of where each of us hopes to glimpse the way out of the political crisis, everyone concerned about the fate of democracy in this country should concur that the solution must be a peaceful one and remain within parliamentary limits. And it is the shared responsibility of the incumbent government and the opposition to ensure that this is how it will be.
Threats during the election campaign
In the view of the Eötvös Károly Institute, in a constitutional democracy it is inadmissible, no matter the heat of the election campaign, to insinuate to mayors or municipalities that they will forfeit access to certain resources and funds if they vote “wrong” and the “righteous” side wins. The democratic politician making such insinuations must shoulder the political consequences.
The Secrecy Bill
On the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations
Electronic Freedom of Information Act
On the election of the President of the Republic
On copies of Constitutional Court motions
The online video broadcasting and archiving of meetings of the General Assembly of the Budapest Municipality
Promulgation of European Union law
Despite the fact that the sources comprising the community law of the European Union became effective in Hungary as of May 1, 2004, no official Hungarian translation of these legal texts will be available for the foreseeable future, due to a backlog of translation work, as well as delays in authentication and comprehensive publication in an official journal. In an effort to shed light on this situation, the Eötvös Károly Institute addressed questions to the Ministry of Justice.
On the proposals by Prime Minister
The other day, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary publicly unveiled certain proposals that may have implications for the foundations of the country’s constitutional regime and the relationship between Hungarian citizens and the European Union. Read the comments of the Eötvös Károly Institute here.
Letter to brigadier general Péter Gergényi in the matter of flag burning by László Majtényi
On the method of passing the Hospital Act
Exercising his powers under § 26 (2) of the Constitution, the President of the Republic returned to the National Assembly the already passed “Hospital Act” for further consideration. In response, the Speaker of the House, citing the impending summer vacation of representatives, convened an extraordinary meeting following the regular session earlier in the day–the same day the President had announced his veto. This extraordinary meeting ended with the legislators passing the Act a second time.
On the political debate over human rights
The letter to the Minister of Finance by László Majtényi
On the disclosure of information in the judicial system and the transparency of justice
On the liability of the government to report to the European Union
In the opinion of the Eötvös Károly Institute, it is the duty of the government to formulate and submit for public debate its position on fundamental issues dividing the European Union, including that of common defense and foreign policy, and the controversial points of the EU Constitution now taking shape. The low voter turnout at the referendum deciding on accession has directed attention to the neglect of governments to date: Their failure to responsibly publicize information and the ensuing absence of pertinent public debate led to a very low awareness of the importance of membership.