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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Liberal MEPs initiate Hungarian Presidency boycott

MEPs from the European Parliament's liberal ALDE group have called for the venue of a meeting to be changed from Budapest to Brussels, as a sign of protest against a controversial media law recently adopted in Hungary, the country holding the rotating EU presidency. Liberal MEPs will convene next Thursday (20 January) to decide whether the EU-African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Joint Parliamentary Assembly should be held in Hungary, which has raised eyebrows across Europe with a media law that is widely seen as undemocratic.Belgian MEP Louis Michel, co-chair of the EU-ACP assembly, called a special meeting after receiving a letter from Luxembourg colleague Charles Goerens, who wrote that the law ''violates democratic principles recognised by EU member states''.Michel is remembered for leading calls for the EU to take harsh measures against Austria in 2000, when Jörg Haider's far-right Freedom Party entered into a coalition government with the Austrian People's Party.The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly brings together MEPs and elected representatives from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that have signed the Cotonou Agreement.MPs from the ACP states meet their European counterparts for two plenary sessions a year, focusing on democracy and human rights. The 2011 meetings are scheduled for 16-18 May in Budapest and 21-23 November in Sierra Leone.


Source: EurActiv