The Venice Commission – an independent advisory body of the Council of Europe – report on Hungary’s extra tax on organizations aiding migration has been hastily assembled without proper procedure, Orbán writes.
The draft of the Commission’s opinion was discussed at a December 14-15th meeting. Orbán said that instead of the required six rapporteurs, only one actually visited Hungary, although the work of the rapporteurs should form the basis of the report itself.
Half of the report was completely re-written on the day of the meeting and Hungary only received a copy 45 minutes before the debate, making any meaningful discussion impossible. The Commission also rejected the Hungarian request to postpone the meeting so that Hungarian experts could familiarize themselves with the document.
Orbán said that the report considers taxation from the perspective of fundamental human rights, whereas such an approach is entirely absurd. He also said that along a similar logic, environmental taxes could be construed as infringing the right to free enterprise.
While the Commission often says that this is only an advisory opinion, the European Commission has made it clear beforehand that its decision whether to launch Article 7 proceedings against Hungary will be based on said report.