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Brussels reminds Hungary of constitutional EU obligations

18 June 2013, 10:16 CET
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(STRASBOURG) - The European Commission flashed another warning past Hungary on Wednesday, threatening to launch EU-level legal attacks against controversial changes to the country's constitution.

Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding warned in the European Parliament that if there was a "real risk" of Europe's fundamental values being "violated," Brussels would have to intervene.

The European Union executive is still only studying the Hungarian case, but, she maintained: "We will not wait until June to take our decision."

EU officials are expected to hold talks about Hungary at a summit in June.

Two so-called "infraction" procedures were already launched against Budapest last year, and have not stopped Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orba's right-wing party from using its two-thirds parliamentary majority to recast a string of legal principles underpinning the EU member's system.

The constitutional changes, which include limiting the powers of the key Constitutional Court and reinstating measures its judges had ruled void, are seen by some European officials as incompatible with EU legislation and the rule of law.

The head of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Hannes Swoboda, told lawmakers that EU member states had to decide soon whether to back Budapest or the EU.

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