Press Release

Hungary: EPP Group firmly opposed to death penalty, rule of law applies to all Member States

, 10.06.2015 - 11:28

The European Parliament will vote today on the Hungary Resolution which, among other things, mentions the death penalty, the survey on migration and the rule of law.

On the survey, EPP Group Vice-Chairman Esteban González Pons said: "Migration is not a challenge faced by Hungary alone. It is a challenge faced by the whole of Europe and together we have to find the best way to tackle this problem. This means that neither the EPP Group nor the European Parliament can afford to avoid an extended debate on migration in Hungary and in other countries where extremist and xenophobic ideas are on the rise. We have to fight these extremist views with words, with the rule of law and with our democratic tools. In a Europe of 500 million citizens, a space for a debate on migration is needed. In this sense, we think that asking citizens is always good, but it has to be done in a respectful way and unnecessary confrontations should be avoided.

In relation to the death penalty, González Pons said: "The EPP Group has always been firmly opposed to the death penalty. It is a fundamental principle of our political family. In Hungary, there has only been a national debate on this issue and this does not mean that they will accept capital punishment. The Hungarian Prime Minister has already made it clear that this issue is not on the table. Therefore, we have no doubt that Fidesz, as a democratic Party and member of the EPP family will respect the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and prohibit the death penalty, as it has always done.

On the rule of law in Hungary, Monika Hohlmeier MEP, the EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, said: "Debates on the rule of law should not only be centred around Hungary. Yesterday, we agreed with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, who said that we are facing several challenges to the rule of law in several Member States. I am thinking of Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, there have been several problems in Greece and even in Italy. I think the EU must find an effective way of enhancing and reinforcing the rule of law and the EU must help Member States achieve a good justice system with fair treatment for the different societal groups, with fair democratic rules. I therefore completely agree with Mr Timmermans' proposed method which is to first have a framework for the rule of law and then to engage with any Member State which has a problem with the rule of law in a structured dialogue within that framework. The EU is a union of friends, so we must try to help each other and convince all Member States to follow the rule of law and EU values.”

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 218 Members from 27 Member States

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