The European Union Tuesday began legal proceedings against Hungary on three issues: the independence of the national central bank, the retirement age of judges and the independence of the data protection authority.
“The decisions we have taken today are a reflection of our determination to make sure that EU law, both in letter and in spirit are fully respected and a stable legal environment exists in all of our Member States,” said the European Commission in a statement.
The EU had expressed concern over the recently adopted Hungarian constitution and called on the Hungarian government to change certain controversial laws.
“We hoped that the Hungarian authorities would make the changes necessary to guarantee respect of EU law. This has not been the case so far, therefore we have decided to begin infringement proceedings,” said the EU’s executive body.
“Hungary is a key member of the European family. We do not want the shadow of doubt on respect for democratic principles and values to remain over the country any longer,” it added.
The infringement procedure begins with a request for information to the EU Member State concerned, which must be answered within a specified period, usually two months.
Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels on 24 January to discuss the matter.