S&D Group „gravely worried“ about democratic erosion in Hungary and Bulgaria

Ahead of the debate on Hungary in the European Parliament tomorrow, Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group, reiterated the group’s concerns about violations of fundamental European values in Hungary and Bulgaria.

„Prime Minister Orbán has gone from defending freedoms to restricting freedoms. The S&D Group has a crystal clear line on violations of EU values: we do not accept it. The worrying erosion of democracy, rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in Hungary is not compatible with the principles the European Union is founded upon. We urge the Hungarian government to accept the European Commission’s findings without any exceptions.

„I welcome the European Commission’s commitment and action in the case of Hungary and I am glad that more and more critical voices – even within the EPP – are breaking the silence around the undemocratic actions of the Hungarian government. I have long wondered why and for how much longer the EPP would tolerate Viktor Orbán and Fidesz among their ranks. I encourage them to draw the line now.“

On the recent revelations on wire-tapping in Bulgaria, which former interior minister Tzvetan Tzvetanov seems to have personally instigated and overseen, Hannes Swoboda added:


„It is shameful that Bulgaria, as a member of the European Union, has been governed by an administration which clearly violated – with the help and knowledge of the Bulgarian police – the rights and privacy of a large number of people. It also raises questions about other actions that this government may have taken and its overall respect for democratic values.


„I urge the former interior minister, Tzvetan Tzvetanov, to resign from his position as campaign manager of GERB (the centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party) without delay. I think it is obvious that he has also lost the credibility and legitimacy to hold political office in any future Bulgarian administration. Former prime minister Boiko Borisov’s declaration of his full support for Mr Tzvetanov following this new information highlights the lack of democratic values in his party.


„I call on the European Commission to investigate the Bulgarian phone-tapping cases and set up a monitoring mechanism to prevent similar cases in the future.“