'Commissioner Opines On High Marks Given To Hungarian Justice System', By Ferenc Kumin

  • 8 Apr 2013 9:00 AM
'Commissioner Opines On High Marks Given To Hungarian Justice System', By Ferenc Kumin
By Ferenc Kumin, Deputy State Secretary For International Communications In Hungary:<br>Last week, I had a post regarding a rather unfortunate, or, as some would say, inappropriate comment made by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. In brief: Madame Commissioner got confused about the facts in a simple European Arrest Warrant case that has been going on for more than ten years between Ireland and Hungary.

The good news is that our two countries have finally worked out a solution through bi-lateral channels, and Ciara Francis Tobin, an Irish accountant convicted on charges of manslaughter after the car he was driving struck and killed two children in Hungary, will begin to serve his prison sentence.

Perhaps the case could have been solved earlier if the Commissioner had been more inclined to lend her good offices as a non-partisan negotiator between two EU member states.

Unfortunately, she seemed more inclined to demonstrate her bias with misplaced and misinformed comments about the Hungarian justice system.

And now there’s more. Last Saturday, the European Commission released a scoreboard of the justice system, one of the many monitoring tools of the Commission. On this latest scoreboard, Hungary ranked well, which apparently came as a surprise to some, including Ms. Reding. So much so that she felt compelled to comment again:

“I suppose if you were to measure this [Hungary’s judicial system] now, the trend will be dramatically aggravated and the perceived independence of the judiciary would even fall,” said Reding, emphasizing the data that the Commission had used was outdated.

Strange indeed, given the fact that the scorecard is the Commission’s own work. In any case, it doesn’t seem appropriate for the commissioner to express conjecture like this and offers a good illustration of why some say she has a biased agenda.

Ultimately, what matters here is that the Tobin affair is finally coming to a close, thanks to the efforts of Budapest and Dublin. We’re relieved, not least for the family of the children, and looking forward to continued excellent relations with Ireland.

Source: A Blog About Hungary by Ferenc Kumin

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