Hungarian EU Commissioner Nominee ‘Undermined Rule of Law’

Experts on the Western Balkans, as well as international law and civil society figures, took to social media to voice their concerns on Tuesday after the new European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced Hungary's Laszlo Trocsanyi as her proposed Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy.

Trocsanyi is seen by critics as one of the main culprits in undermining the justice system during the rule of Hungarian premier Victor Orban, under whom he served as Minister of Justice and a member of the Constitutional Court.

As I feared, László Trócsányi, will be in charge of enlargement. As an accessory in dismantling rule of law in Orban's Hungary, he should not be in the Commission, in charge of enlargement, he lacks credibility to skeptics in EU and rule of law agenda in Western Balkans.

— Florian Bieber (@fbieber) September 10, 2019

Laszlo Troscanyi - new enlargement commissioner iz perceived as loyal to Prime Minister Viktor #Orbán. Faced questions as he served as justice minister at a time when critics say the Hungarian government worked to undermine checks and balances.

— Gjeraqina Tuhina (@gjeraqina) September 10, 2019

Law professor Laurent Pech said Trocsanyi's ability to fulfil his mission as outlined by von der Leyen is severely challenged by his earlier role in Orban's administration, which was censured by the European Parliament under Article 7 of the EU treaty, aimed at preventing member states from damaging democratic institutions.

Trocsanyi himself was behind laws against NGOs working with refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as legal provisions that caused the closure of Budapest's Central European University.

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