EP President suggests bilateral talks on Slovak-Hungarian issues

The European Parliament lacks powers in the area of languages and issues such as the Slovak Language Act may best be solved bilaterally, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, told the Hungarian Parliamentary Chair, Katalin Szili, who had complained that the law violates European laws and that the issue should be debated by the EU parliament on Wednesday, September 2, the TASR newswire wrote. "We believe that this is not a bilateral but rather a European issue. This law is in violation of the Copenhagen Criteria and the (proposed) Lisbon Treaty as well as many other European legal instruments," said Szili as quoted by TASR.

The European Parliament lacks powers in the area of languages and issues such as the Slovak Language Act may best be solved bilaterally, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, told the Hungarian Parliamentary Chair, Katalin Szili, who had complained that the law violates European laws and that the issue should be debated by the EU parliament on Wednesday, September 2, the TASR newswire wrote.

"We believe that this is not a bilateral but rather a European issue. This law is in violation of the Copenhagen Criteria and the (proposed) Lisbon Treaty as well as many other European legal instruments," said Szili as quoted by TASR.

Conflicts like this are best handled bilaterally, said Buzek, adding that he understands that there are some difficulties in Slovak-Hungarian dialogue, however, and that he is ready to assist such a discussion. He said he needs to study the law in the course of three to four weeks and visit both countries in order to be apprised of the facts and see in what way the EP can help.

"A discussion is always helpful and our three-way dialogue would be very helpful. But I reiterate that there is no legal means to step in ... we need to study it (the matter) thoroughly in order to find out whether the legal framework has been violated," said Buzek, noting that it is not possible to discuss this issue at a plenary session of the European Parliament as it lacks decision-making powers in this area. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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