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European NGOs protest nominee for Education Commissioner

Brussels, 26.9.2014 23:13, (ROMEA)
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (PHOTO: European People's Party - EPP, Flickr.com)
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (PHOTO: European People's Party - EPP, Flickr.com)

In an open letter to President-elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, a coalition of European civil society networks and organizations say they consider the nomination of Tibor Navracsicsas as Commissioner for Education, Youth, Culture and Citizenship to be completely unacceptable. The NGOs say Navracsics was a proponent of policies implemented by Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán that contravene EU treaties, policies such as the constitutional reform process last year and media reforms in 2011 that Brussels itself criticized.

The NGOs say they believe the appointment of Navracsics would endanger relations between civil society and the European Commission. They describe the Hungarian government as seeking to intimidate civic associations that do not share its views by sending police to their premises.

"After placing the economy before the social in this period of crisis, the nomination of Mr Navracsics can only be understood as turning your back on the implementation of these values and sends citizens a dispiriting signal for the future of Europe," the open letter reads. "You will understand, Mr. President, that we have no choice but to call on the European Parliament to reject your proposed appointment of Mr. Navracsics to this role."

In accordance with recommendations made by the European Year of Citizens Alliance (EYCA1), the NGOs also ask that the portfolio of citizenship and civil dialogue be included as a responsibility of a Vice President of the European Commission, such as that of the VP in charge of “Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights”. Such a move would give civil society dialogue the same status as that of social dialogue.

Organizations signing the letter include the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH), the European Civic Forum, the European Disability Forum, Solidar, and others. EYCA1 policy recommendations are available for download here.

agw, press release of AEDH and ECF
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EP, Média, Politika, Aktivismus, demokracie, otevřený dopis, Viktor Orbán, Civil society, Commissioner, European Commission, Hungary, human rights



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