Venice Commission raises concerns over basic law

Budapest, June 9 (MTI) – The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission has expressed concern over several aspects of Hungary’s new constitution in a draft report quoted by online news portal on Thursday.  

At the same time, the Commission welcomed the fact that some of its proposals made when the constitution was in the phase of preparation have been incorporated in the final version and that the text is based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.


According to, the Venice Commission report said it is regrettable that the constitution drafting process lacked transparency, there was deficiency in the dialogue between the ruling parties and the opposition, the conditions for dialogue with social players were not adequately provided, and a shortage of time characterised the entire drafting process.


The Commission criticised the fact that the constitution fails to regulate in detail several areas. Additionally, it classifies several regulations as cardinal laws requiring two-thirds majority whereas in most constitutions these are part of daily political legislation that require a simple majority.


Limiting the scope of authority of the Constitutional Court on tax and financial matters, and granting a the Budget Council an excessive role in approving the budget are further concerns raised by the Commission’s draft report, said. The wording of the new Constitution is too generic when it comes to such key areas as framework regulations for courts and other areas.


Further concerns were raised in connection with the decision to give real life sentences without chance for parole and on the rights of ethnic Hungarians beyond the borders included in the preamble.


The Venice Commission report expressed hope that the interpretation and implementation of the constitution in the future will give Hungary the chance to act in accordance with international agreements, said.


Representatives of the Venice Commission visited Hungary on May 17 to assess the new constitution approved on April 18 and to come into effect on January 1, 2012.


The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission was set up in 1990. Its task is to encourage European standards in the adoption of constitutions.