BCSDN, together with many other civil society organisations, has been campaigning to ask the European Parliament to reject the nomination of Tibor Navracsics. We are proud to announce that the Culture Committee MEPs voted against the Hungarian Foreign Minister taking on the role of Commissioner for Citizenship, Culture, Education and Youth. A joint letter was produced and a petition was promoted to demand from the European Parliament to blockTibor Navracsics from taking on this crucial post. The Culture committee has accepted that Navracsics can be part of the Commission, but should not have the specific portfolio of citizenship, culture, education and youth.
In the hearing and further written questions many members of the parliament brought up concerns raised by CSOs in the run up to the vote: would Navracsics distance himself from legislation in Hungary aimed at curbing the freedom of the media? Would Navracsics criticise the reforms in Hungarian education which many claim are opposed to EU freedom of movement rules and principles? Would he acknowledge that the government of Orban is moving away from liberal principles to an authoritarian model? Ultimately Navracsics could not distance himself from the decisions he took as a Minister, and so he had to be rejected for a role so closely touching on European values. It is now important that in the reshuffling that Jean Claude Juncker will have to do to come up with an acceptable Commission for the Parliament that these reasons are kept in mind.
Even more important is that the momentum and awareness built around the situation in Hungary becomes the start of positive action by the future European Commission to address the undermining of fundamental rights in Hungary, as the european civil society has recently demanded.