CoE President Parlt addresses Hungarian leaders on minority rights

Rik Daems, president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, met with Hungarian leaders on Friday in Budapest on minority rights and the right to a healthy environment, a government official said.

Zsolt Németh, head of the Hungarian parliament’s foreign affairs committee and the Hungarian delegation to the assembly, said Daems had met with President János Áder, House Speaker László Köver and other officials.

Daems also chaired an online meeting of the Assembly from the Parliament building, marking the start of the Hungarian CoE presidency, Németh said.

The protection of national minorities will be a priority for the Hungarian Presidency, and the CoE recently adopted a report on the subject, submitted by the representative of Vojvodina Elvira Kovács, said Németh. Hopefully the CoE will compensate for the “lack of action” on the part of the EU, he said.

Daems and President Áder agreed that the right to a healthy environment should be declared a fundamental human right.

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The priorities of the Hungarian CoE Presidency include protecting the rights of minorities and maintaining a dialogue on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, said Judit Varga.

Hungary will launch a feasibility study on adding this right to the European Convention on Human Rights, said Németh.

Németh praised the role of the CoE in building the future of Europe. The body comprises 47 countries, compared to 27 in the European Union, he said. National parliaments are also more active in the CoE, as they struggle to make their voices heard in discussions on the future of the EU, he said.

Featured photo, László Köver, President of the National Assembly, welcomes Rik Daems, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, to Parliament on May 28, 2021. Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák / MTI

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