Press Release

April 1, 2020
Cardin Calls on Hungary’s Orban to Sunset His Emergency Powers

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Ranking Senate Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) released the following statement on the latest undemocratic actions in Hungary.

“This week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has sought to exploit the world’s focus on a global pandemic to further entrench his own political position. The passage of a law that grants to him the right to rule by decree, with no sunset clause, deprives the Hungarian legislature of its ability to engage in meaningful oversight. This law is a straight line down the path Viktor Orban has taken since he returned to power in 2010: limiting checks on government power, including civil society, media pluralism, and independent courts.

“I welcome the U.S. Embassy’s statement in Budapest and urge the Department of State and other relevant U.S. government departments to continue monitor developments in Hungary, including measures that may foster corruption, diminish transparency, or target individuals for expressing their views on matters of public interest. Prime Minister Orban should commit to a specific time in the coming months to end the emergency authority or obtain explicit parliamentary approval with a sunset clause to renew.”