The European Parliament – Photo: wikipedia

Five EP party groups turn to EC over Hungary’s amendments to whistleblower protection, teachers’ status law

Five party groups of the European Parliament turned to the European Commission, expressing their concerns on amendments to Hungary's Whistleblower Protection Act, which the national parliament adopted on April 11.

The letter signed by leaders of the Greens/EFA Group, the European People’s Party, the Renew Europe group, The Left Group and the Socialists and Democrats noted that the amendments allowed reports on “activities going against the Hungarian way of life and the Fundamental Law, including activities violating the constitutionally recognised role of marriage and the family”.

“We consider these provisions, once implemented, pose a serious threat to the rights of LGBTIQ people and to freedom of expression,” they said.

Further, the letter said Hungary’s draft law on the legal status of those employed in public education and the amendment of certain related laws would “drastically restrict the fundamental rights of the teachers, their freedom of expression, exceedingly decrease their professional autonomy and drastically curtail their labor rights including their right to strike.”

“In our view, [the legislation] clearly makes it impossible to give a positive assessment of the first payment request under the Recovery and Resilience Plan,” the letter said.

Signatories also called on suspending payments to Hungary under the EU’s ESF+ Programme, saying that Hungary had failed to meaningfully consult trade unions on teachers’ wage reform.

“Equality, human dignity and fundamental rights are the core of the founding of the EU, and we trust your commitment to take effective action when a Member State deliberately breaches these EU values,” the letter said.

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