Q: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is calling for drastically enhanced powers in order to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, prompting concern by the Hungarian opposition and indeed the Council of Europe. Does Paris consider these powers to be compatible with respect for democratic principles?
A: France’s European partners, including Hungary, have taken unprecedented measures to combat the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In these exceptional circumstances, European institutions remain responsible for ensuring respect for the rule of law within member states, within the framework of the European treaties. The various Council of Europe bodies also issued recommendations to ensure that these measures are adopted in accordance with the fundamental guarantees of the rule of law and other fundamental principles.