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The sixth amendment of the Fundamental Law and the need for democratic openness

standpoint 2016-05-02 | Fb Sharing

The circumstances of the emergence of the sixth amendment on terror threat are still unclear.

On 26 April the full and official text of the sixth amendment of the Fundamental Law was submitted to the Parliament and became available for the public. However, the proposal had been conceived in darkness. The amendment supplements the existing series of special legal orders with a new situation, the state of terror threat, but the circumstances of its emergence are still unclear.

Publishing the proposal of the sixth amendment is essential to ensure democratic openness. At the same time, the deliberate concealment of the consultation process should not be forgotten. Amendments to the Fundamental Law should not be the internal affairs of the government or the parliamentary parties. An extensive professional and social discussion should have taken place and arguments should have been contested to secure public support in the issue of terror threat.

Public deliberation is not a barrier to effective governance. On the contrary, it is through public discussion that society can rest assured about the need for the enactment of the state of terror threat and discussion also helps people to stay informed on the real extent of terror threat in Hungary.

As long as such negotiations take place behind closed doors, society cannot be expected to be a partner in the implementation of the results of these consultations. Beside the government itself, opposition party politicians, who contributed to the exclusion of the public from the consultation, have to take the responsibility, as well.

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