Regional News • Europe
Hungary passes new laws expanding executive powers and barring same-sex couples from adopting
Hungary passes new laws expanding executive powers and barring same-sex couples from adopting
Credit: Steffen Prößdorf, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Hungarian Parliament has passed a new law on Tuesday that will expand the executive powers, making it harder for the opposition to challenge PM Viktor Orbán and his party, and lowering the legal threshold for the government to declare a state of emergency.

Further, it introduced a redefinition of the concept of "family" in the country's constitution, stating that the "foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man", resulting in effectively barring same-sex couples from adopting children.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU leaders agree on 55% climate target by the end of 2030
EU leaders agree on 55% climate target by the end of 2030
Credit: unsplash/Markus Spiske

European leaders agreed to increase the bloc's emission-reduction target to 55 percent by 203 following night-long discussions at their two-day summit in Brussels. The coal-reliant countries Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic are finally supporting the goal after member states agreed that the new target should be delivered collectively.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Poland and Hungary issued ultimatum by EU over Covid-19 recovery fund
Poland and Hungary issued ultimatum by EU over Covid-19 recovery fund
Credit: / Guillaume Périgois

Three days before the decisive meeting of the heads of state and government, the other 25 EU states are now giving Hungary and Poland an ultimatum: either they drop their veto against the next seven-year EU budget, or the other 25 countries will remove the Covid-19 recovery package from the budget and re-issue it among themselves.

Regional News • Europe
Viktor Orbán states Hungary will stick by EU budget veto threat
Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Hungary will still reject any attempt to link the rule of law the European Union's budget and its coronavirus recovery fund, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday.

The Hungarian and the Polish governments are under EU investigations for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations, so they risk losing tens of billions in funds. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told DW that his government will never accept any proposal that "would effectively leave us at the mercy of the European Commission."

Regional News • Europe
Czech and Slovak gouvernment criticise Polish and Hungarian stance on rule of law principle in new EU budget
Ivan Korčok Foreign Minister Slovakia
Ivan Korčok Foreign Minister Slovakia Credit: EU2016 SK / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Despite both being in the Visegrád Group, Czechia and Slovakia apparently do not share the Polish and Hungarian rejection of the compromise on the EU´s long-term budget and Recovery Plan negotiated by the German Presidency. The foreign ministers of both states have expressed their hopes that neither Hungaria nor Poland will effectively block the implemantation of those EU funds. According to Polish gouvernment sources, a video summit of the Visegrád Group will take place to discuss the disagreements.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
European Union faces crisis as Hungary and Poland vetoed a new seven-year budget
European Union flags
European Union flags Credit: Thijs ter Haar (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The European Union faces a crisis after Hungary and Poland vetoed the bloc's historic €1.8tn budget and coronavirus recovery plan over attempts to link funding to respect for democratic norms.

The move unravels months of negotiations over the scale and terms of the EU's spending and sets the stage for a stormy videoconference meeting of the bloc's leaders on Thursday. The 27 EU heads of state and government had signed off on the broad spending package and the inclusion of a link to respect for the rule of law in July, after days of hard debate.

Regional News • Europe
Portugal and Hungary impose partial lockdown

Portugal and Hungary are imposing stricter Covid-19 measures, including a night curfew. While Hungary's curfew will run from 8pm to 5am, Portugal's curfew is set to run from 11pm to 5am on weekdays and from 1pm to 5am on weekends.

Regional News • Europe
Hungary to close its border by September 1 to curb Covid-19 surge
Austria-Hungary border
Austria-Hungary border Credit: Steindy (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Hungary will close its border to foreign citizens starting September 1 to curb the spread of Covid-19 as the country sees a surge of infections. Returning citizens will need to self-quarantine for 14 days or must present two negative Covid-19 test results.

F1: Hamilton wins Hungarian GP for the eighth time
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton Credit: Formula One (Twitter Reproduction)

Lewis Hamilton confirmed his favouritism and won the Formula One Hungarian GP. Second place went to Red Bull's Max Verstappen, with Mercedes to Valtteri Bottas in third.

Hamilton started from pole position and was not threatened during the 70 laps of the race, winning for the eighth time in Hungaroring. The British took the top spot in the driver standings after Round 3.

Hungary tightens advertisement regulations for homeopathic products
Hungary tightens advertisement regulations for homeopathic products
Credit: / Markus Frieauff

Starting July 1, homeopathic products are only allowed to be marketed as medical products with a therapeutic claim or indication if the effect has been proven in clinical trials in Hungary. This affects 41 homeopathic products as Hungary has no homeopathic product on the market that has proven therapeutic efficiency in clinical trials. If a homeopathic product is not able to prove its efficiency through clinical trials it can be registered as a "high-dilution product" but is not allowed to be marketed with a therapeutic indication.

Regional News • Europe
Charlemagne-Prize recipient President fuels tension against minorities in his own country

Romania's president, Klaus Iohannis, has mocked the minority Hungarian community and the Social-Democratic Party by accusing them of "giving away in secret" a piece of the state's territory to Hungary.

The president had been nominated for the Charlemagne prize last autumn on the grounds of defending multiculturality, diversity, unity, and democracy, core values of the European Union, values that this statement of his contradicts according to political commentators. They speculate that it was probably just a political maneuver to rally the country's right-wing voters to his party for the upcoming municipal elections and that it shows the biggest flaw of Eastern European EU member states: sacrificing democratic values to strengthen the state, a leftover tradition from the Cold War.

Regional News • Europe
Second Hungarian Taken by Police for Writing on Facebook

Five policemen showed up at a man's home in the town of Gyula, Hungary, to take him in. The reason: he posted on Facebook about the 1170 beds that were emptied in the local hospital. This is the second time Orbán's "war on fake news" has resulted in action by the police since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, when the government bill giving the Prime Minister near-total power was passed, including a section that criminalizes the spread of misinformation about the virus. During the four hours of questioning at the local police precinct, the man kept asking for his lawyer until he got released but was left to get home on his own means, regardless of his physical disability.

Football Leaks' whistleblower released from custody

Rui Pinto is now under house arrest, still banned from the Internet, and awaiting trial. Extradited from Hungary in March 2019 for alleged attempts of blackmailing an investment fund, Pinto is currently facing 90 allegations of criminal offense in Portugal. Pinto had previously published evidence of corruption and tax evasion that have since lead to investigations both in and outside the world of football.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU politicians deem Hungary's emergency law "incompatible with EU membership"

Politicians from the liberal group in the European parliament have claimed that the legislation that enables the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree without time limits is incompatible with an active membership in the European Union. The chair of the European parliament's rule of law group, Sophie in’t Veld, who's a Dutch member of parliament and part of the liberal group in the MEP said in a statement that Orban has succeeded with "killing democracy and the rule of law in Hungary".

Regional News • Europe
Hungary suspends parliament and enables Orban to rule by decree

In order to fight the coronavirus, the Hungarian parliament has suspended itself indefinitely and provided the prime minister Viktor Orban with the power to rule by decree. While this rule is in place no elections or referendums can be held, reporting that is judged to be false can be punished other measures can be taken without the need to go through the regular democratic processes. The legislation reached the necessary majority of two-thirds with 138 votes in favor and 53 votes against.