Hungary announced Friday two changes to its controversial constitution in an effort to stave off criticism from Brussels, after it threatened possible sanctions.
Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi told a press conference that a plan to tax Hungarians to pay for any fines imposed on Hungary by the constitutional court or international courts was to be dropped from the constitution.
Another controversial provision — allowing a top judicial official to transfer cases from one court to another, a measure slammed as limiting courts’ independence — was also to be removed, he said.
“Hungary’s aim is to resolve disputes and avoid infringement procedures against it,” Martonyi explained.
The moves were a rare concession by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government, which has regularly clashed with Brussels since coming to power in 2010, and came after the EU warned of possible sanctions.