Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Questions (85)

Niall Collins


85. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of efforts by the EU to ensure that Hungary adheres to the rule of law, principles of democracy and European values and ideals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17583/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Rule of law matters are of serious concern to Ireland.

We have always said that fundamental values and the rule of law are a shared EU interest and call for a common approach.  

Rule of law issues in Hungary have been discussed at the General Affairs Councils since last Autumn. These discussions have involved the Commission, Hungary and other Member States. Ireland has actively participated in the discussions highlighting the importance of respect for the rule of law.

At the most recent General Affairs Council meeting on 9 April, Member States expressed concerns in relation to a number of issues, including media freedom, NGO freedom and academic freedom. Ireland stressed the need to stand by our shared values and that concerns, including around the civic space available for NGOs and the long term operation of the Central European University, should be addressed. The General Affairs Council will return to the issue again in June.

The Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., discussed rule of law issues with Mr Szabolcs Takács, the Hungarian Minister of State for EU Policies and Coordination, when they met in Dublin on 4 April.

Question No. 86 answered with Question No. 82.
Question No. 87 answered with Question No. 63.
Question No. 88 answered with Question No. 80.