The president-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced on September 10th the nomination of Mr. Tibor Navracsics as Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Citizenship. European Civil Society Organisations that delivered the European Year of Citizens in 2013 and 2014 consider that this appointment is completely unacceptable.
Mr. Navracsics has been a key proponent of policies implemented by the Hungarian government led by Mr. Orban, which has been cracking down on the freedom of speech of journalists and NGOs critical of government policy and undermining other civil liberties and fundamentals of democracy, has weakened the state educational system and has put it under political control, as it has with leading cultural institutions in the country. The government policies acted against the values of the European treaties and project and were criticised by the European Commission for decisions such as the constitutional reform process of 2013 and the reforms affecting media freedom in 2011. This is why, on the basis of the core democratic principles of the EU, civil society accross Europe has been loudly expressing the concern that the appointment of Mr. Tibor Navracsics would put under threat the relations between the European Commission and civil society organisations.
Therefore, an open letter, signed by a number of organisations including BCSDN, has been sent to Mr. Junker, as well as to the MEPs, regarding the designation of Mr. Tibor Navracsics as Commissioner for for Education, Youth, Culture and Citizenship. The letter remains open to signatures by all European organisations who share these concerns (contact Najmowicz Alexandrina at: firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition to the open letter, an online petition – open also for individuals – has been launched to join the efforts and get as wide support as possible to the common claims.