Támogasd Te is küzdelmünket a zöld és igazságos jövőért!

Whistleblower protection

It is difficult to imagine corruption without the contribution of players who have the ability to abuse resources – mostly public resources – for the purpose of generating a private; only people with some kind of power in their hands are able to act as such. In order to prevent those powerful people from misusing public money we need people to counter them. Today, we cannot talk about a serious anti-corruption policy without meaningful protection for these brave men and women.

Whistleblowers play an important role in a democracy ensuring vital information in the public interest is brought to light. The level of the extent to which legal means and guarantees that serve to protect whistleblowers as well as the level of specially protected reporting channels are shockingly uneven when it comes to the different Member States. In view of the anomalies of different regulations, the weakness of national institutions, and recent atrocities and lawsuits brought against whistleblowers, it is high time that whistleblowers were guaranteed protection minimum across Europe.

The resolution voted by the EP in March on the report on the fight against fraud has demanded the Commission to propose legislation to this end and stop stalling.

Strasbourg, 29th April 2015

Benedek Jávor MEP

Shale gas extraction becomes cheaper in Hungary

Today in Parliament the Hungarian government, with a majority, made an amendment in the law, reducing the drilling fee of shale gas drilling from 12% to 2%, which is more than puzzling, since despite the huge amount of Hungary’s resources, shale gas is hard to access in the country: in order to extract shale gas, the drilling has to go deeper, the use of chemical substances has to be increased, and the drilling will take place on densely populated areas. In addition, due to the demand for technology and capital, extraction is made possible for foreign companies only, whereas the Hungarian state could have only made profit through an increased drilling fee. Such a law will entail a greater risk for negative environmental consequences, the cost of which will be paid by the country and its citizens.


The shipment of the damaged fuel assemblies violated directive 2011/70/Euratom

According to Dialogue for Hungary the shipment to the Russian Federation of the damaged fuel assemblies of the 2003 Paks incident violated the 2011 EU directive on the exportation of nuclear waste.
According to Benedek Jávor, member of the party and the European Parliament, the contract including the specifics of the shipment is legally questionable. The damaged assemblies were shipped last year through Ukraine, which meant taking serious safety risks. In addition, as it turned out, the shipment contract also pertained to the final disposal of nuclear waste.
Following his inquiry to the Euratom Supply Agency, Mr. Jávor was informed that despite the Hungarian government’s lack of effort to inform the ESA, the original contract of 2010 was amended in 2013. According to ESA, however, the Agency’s signature, “when required, is a necessary condition” for the validity of the contract. Following these developments, Mr. Jávor will now turn to the European Commission with the concern that the Hungarian government might have conducted the shipment of damaged fuel assemblies on the basis of a legally dubious contract.

ESA response to Benedek Javor (click here).

20th April 2015



Press release from Benedek Jávor about the suspension of EU funds

The Hungarian government now acts as if the European Commission’s decision on the suspension of EU funds was a surprise. There is, however, no reason to be surprised: the documents foreshadowing this recent development have long been made accessible. During this time action could have easily been taken to prevent such a decision; however, the government prefers a deeply corrupt procurement system over saving EU funds. What is more is that the present decision could be followed by many more: besides the operative projects now affected by the decision there are at least half a dozen similar projects that received the same evaluation from the Commission. Without a radical alteration in the system, even planned future projects are in jeopardy. It is high time that Viktor Orbán and János Lázár decided whether it is the funding of oligarchs or the fate of the country that matters more to them.

Last December I wrote in my blog about the documents that had been sent by the respective director general of the European Commission to the European Parliament in connection with the supervision of operative programs using EU development funds. This information involved the assessment of the management of all the operative programs of all EU Member States. As I pointed out in my blog post Hungary was among the worst in all examined areas. These data also showed that the Commission not only criticized the programs, but also deemed the provision of information by the Hungarian authorities unreliable.

It was very clear from all these data that the suspension of funds was about to happen. What was predictable now turned into reality. Now at the end of the fifth year of the Orbán-regime, the government’s communication pointing the finger on former governments when talking about the inherited tender-evaluation system, is completely discredited. This is also because the Hungarian management of EU development funds was completely reorganized by the 1st of January, 2014, in that it was assimilated partly into different departments and partly into the Prime Minister’s office. What also becomes clear from the information I provided in December is that the Commission brings its decision based on data received from annual audit records and from regularly updated continuous monitoring. In the current case the decision was probably based on audit records from 2013 and 2014. There is no doubt about whose responsibility this is. What is more is that the current decision can be followed by others: besides the operative projects now affected by the decision there are at least half a dozen similar projects that received the same evaluation from the Commission – these can also be suspended increasing the amount of money lost. Without a radical alteration in the system, even planned future projects are in jeopardy.

Hungary cannot afford to lose such an amount of funds due to the irregular selection of winning tenders. The current suspension affects 700 billion Forints and, according to estimations, will only become available again after paying a sanction mounting up to about 10% of this amount. If we add the development funds lost after the suspension of the Norwegian funds as a result of the government’s attack on the civil sector, the loss goes up as high as 100 billion Forints. It is high time that Viktor Orbán and János Lázár decided whether it is the funding of oligarchs or the fate of the country that matters more to them.

Brussels-Budapest, April 16, 2015
Benedek Jávor MEP


ITCO Press Release

EP-Intergroup on Transparency, Integrity, corruption and organised crime: European Institutions need to take immediate action to implement the recommendations of Transparency International in its report on lobbying in Europe.

The newly established Intergroup of the European Parliament on Transparency (ITCO) welcomes the report issued today by Transparency International on ´lobbying in Europe`. Co-chair Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL): The report of TI shows that at the moment it is not possible for the public to know which lobbyists have contributed to EU-legislation. So far, the European institutions refused to introduce a ´legislative footprint´, i.e. a survey of lobby contacts that have been influential during the drafting of legislative proposals. I urge both the European Commission and the European Parliament to take steps immediately, so that the citizens are fully informed with respect to the influence of lobbyists on legislative proposals by the Commission and on legislative reports of the EP.´

ITCO-Bureau Member Benedek Javor (Greens) adds: ´I fully agree with TI that only a mandatory transparency register will work. At the moment, we only have a voluntary register without proper oversight mechanisms. The idea of the Commission to conclude a new inter-institutional agreement with regard to the transparency register may sound positive, but TI rightly points out that we need formal legislation in order to set up a mandatory register. An inter-institutional agreement does not suffice in this respect´.

Co-Chair Elly Schlein (S&D) emphasises: ´Whereas the situation in the EU-institutions needs to be improved, the situation in Member States is often even worse. Only a few Member States have a better score than the European institutions. European co-operation with regard to transparency, integrity and equality of access needs to be stepped up, so that everywhere in the European Union democracy is strengthened´.

ITCO-Bureau Member Monica Macovei (EPP): ´Corruption and lack of transparency go hand in hand. Conflicts of interest are a source of corruption and undermine people’s trust. Measures should be taken to prevent conflicts of interests and to address them, whenever they may occur. That holds not only for the EU-institutions themselves, but also for Member States. And definitely, the transparency register should be mandatory´.

Transparency International’s report can be found here.

15 April 2015