Misleading translation and serious problems with the Hungarian draft Constitution

Three Hungarian NGOs, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Eotvos Karoly Institute and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee sent a public letter to the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and the leaders of European Parliament groups to draw their attention to the fallacious translation of the draft Constitution. Moreover, we informed them about our analysis of the Constitution framing process and some dangerous points of the draft.

MEP József Szájer sent an invitation to the other MEPs for a Public Hearing in the European Parliament for 29th March, and attached an English translation of the Constitution to his letter. The translation is full of misleading parts (analysis pdf) which hide the true dangers of the draft Constitution of Hungary. The very controversial new preamble, the National Avowal of Faith, is literally omitted from the text. The idea of extending the right to vote to Hungarians residing in foreign countries is also missing from the text. Here you can download the most controversial omissions and misleading translations: .pdf. (The total list of translation errors can be downloaded here (pdf).

In our letter, we demanded Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to play an active role in bringing clarity to the important questions of constitutionality (find our the letter here (doc). The Venice Commission is the constitutional law expert group of the Council of Europe.

The three NGOs provided the European Parliament groups and the Secretary General with an authentic, not official, translation of the draft-Constitution of ruling parties.

The three organizations are currently working on publishing joint analyses of the draft-Constitution. We have previously elaborated a critical analysis of the Hungarian Constitution framing process. This analysis is downloadable from here in pdf.

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