A plenary session of the European Parliament - Photo: europarl.europa.eu

Fidesz MEPs slam new EP regulation against judicial intimidation

MEPs of ruling Fidesz have rejected European parliamentary legislation aimed at defending critical voices from judicial intimidation, saying that the measure would "create a regime where organisations and members of the Soros network would be above the law".

At a plenary on Tuesday, the EP adopted legislation to protect “individuals and organisations working on matters of public interest such as fundamental rights, allegations of corruption, protection of democracy or the fight against disinformation are given EU protection against unfounded and abusive lawsuits”, the EP said in a press release.

The legislation will apply to cross-border cases, not those where both the defendant and claimant are from the same EU country as the court or when the case is only relevant to one member state, the EP said.

Fidesz MEP Erno Schaller-Baross slammed the law for “exempting NGOs, self-appointed rights activists, climate activists causing serious economic damage and organisers of illegal migration from lawsuits just because that would violate their rights to participate in public affairs”, saying the practice could lead to the cover-up of unlawful activities.

“The new EU law casts doubts on national courts’ ability to decide when to launch proceedings and which side is in the right,” Schaller-Baross said.

MEP delegation head Balazs Hidveghi said: “The underlying goal is clearly to exempt members of the Soros network from the law.” “The aim is to enable certain journalists and NGOs to do whatever they like without being held accountable. No one stands above the law,” Hidveghi said.

The law was adopted with 546 votes in favour, 47 against and 31 abstentions.

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