Volume 48 (2011) / Issue 6
The reception of European Union law in Hungary has produced mixed results. The Constitutional Court, entangled in a jurisprudence which focuses primarily on the question whether it has competence under national law to address issues of EU law, has refrained from formulating a comprehensive account of the constitutional impact of membership in the European Union. The constitutional limits of membership remain obscure leaving the parameters of constitutional control following the principles of democracy, the rule of law and national sovereignty unspecified. The approach of the Hungarian judiciary, under the coordination of the Supreme Court, has been more ambitious. The basic tenets of the judicial application of European Union law have been secured in the jurisprudence, and Hungarian courts regard themselves equipped to interpret and apply EU law. There are indications, however, that the jurisprudence incorporated the relevant principles without sufficient care for legal detail and without regard to the qualifications and limitations of those principles in EU law. Instances of material misdirection in EU law also shed certain doubts over the performance of Hungarian courts.
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