László Trócsányi

Hungarian politician
László Trócsányi
Trócsányi László (cropped).jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Incumbent
Assumed office
2 July 2019
ConstituencyHungary
Minister of Justice
In office
6 June 2014 – 30 June 2019
Prime MinisterViktor Orbán
Preceded byTibor Navracsics (Public Administration and Justice)
Succeeded byJudit Varga
Personal details
Born (1956-03-06) 6 March 1956 (age 66)
Budapest, Hungary
Political partyIndependent
Other political
affiliations
Fidesz (Affiliated)
European People's Party
Children3
EducationEötvös Loránd University

László Trócsányi (born 6 March 1956) is a Hungarian lawyer, academic, diplomat, politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2019. Formerly, he was Hungarian Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg from 2000 to 2004, a member of the Constitutional Court of Hungary between 2007 and 2010 and Hungarian Ambassador to France from 2010 to 2014. He was Minister of Justice in the third and fourth Orbán cabinets, from 6 June 2014 to 30 June 2019.

Studies and academic career

He began his university studies in 1975 at the Faculty of Law of the Attila József University of Szeged (József Attila Tudományegyetem, since 2000 University of Szeged). In 1977, he joined the Faculty of Law of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. He graduated in 1980.

He began working as a research associate in the Hungarian Parliament Library and then became a collaborator of the Institute of Legal Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, MTA). Admitted to the bar, he was hired as a lawyer in 1985 in Budapest, but remained a collaborator at the MTA.

In 1987, he became an assistant at the Department of Constitutional Law at the University of Szeged. From 1989 to 1990, he is a fellow at the Catholic University of Louvain and works with Professor Francis Delpérée. Trócsányi obtained his doctorate in 1991 with a thesis on the administrative jurisdiction in comparative law.

In 1991, he co-founded the law firm Nagy & Trócsányi with Péter Nagy in Budapest.[1] Throughout his later years in politics, his law firm has remained involved in representing clients in relation with governmental matters.[2]

Trócsányi was appointed lecturer in the Constitutional Law Department of the University of Szeged in 1992 and chaired the department from 1994 to 2010. In addition to these activities, he also held the position of Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Szeged. Since 2000, he has been an accredited professor at Szeged University and for many years held the position of Secretary of the International Association of Constitutional Law. Between 2005 and 2007, he chaired the Committee for International Relations of the Budapest Bar Association.[3]

In 2004 he became director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Szeged. Between 2005 and 2008, he worked as an associate professor at Université Lyon-III. In 2013, he initiated the creation of the Centre universitaire francophone at the University of Szeged.[4]

Judicial and diplomatic career

Trócsányi served as Ambassador of Hungary to Belgium and Luxembourg (2000–2004) and to France (2010–2014).[5][6]

He was also a member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (2005–2013) and a member of the Hungarian Constitutional Court (2007–2010).

Political career

On 6 June 2014, Trócsányi was appointed Minister of Justice in the Third Orbán Government.[7][8] As Minister, he initiated legislations that the Juncker Commission brought to the European Court of Justice to scrutinize whether they harmonize with the EU laws or not. Among the norms introduced during his tenure were the criminalization of NGOs providing legal assistance to asylum seekers, the amendments to the higher education law that made the Central European University relocate its headquarters from Budapest, and the norms that created legal environment for establishing border transit camps where asylum seekers are detained before a decision is made about whether they are allowed into the country or not. A draft law introducing special administrative courts in charge of corruption cases was finally put on hold as the membership of the Fidesz party was suspended in the European People's Party. With Trócsányi's approval, Hungary chose to extradite two Russian arms-dealers who had previously arrested in a joint operation of the US and Hungarian police, to Russia rather than to the US. Hungary also granted immediate asylum to disgraced former prime minister of North Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, who was convicted in his native country of corruption, while refusing asylum to people fleeing from conflicts abroad. The developments in Hungary under his tenure as Justice Minister raised severe concerns as regards the erosion in the rule of law in the country.[9] The European Parliament called for an Article 7 procedure to be opened against Hungary for serious breach of the founding EU values during his mandate.[10]

Trócsányi was the lead candidate of the Fidesz party list at the 2019 European Parliament election, when he was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

Trócsányi has been nominated as EU commissioner from Hungary on 9 September 2019. He had previously considered the vice-presidency of the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs.[11] He was offered the portfolio of Commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement.[12] His nomination was criticized by several Balkan scholars and observers, taking account of his role in undermining the rule of law in Hungary.[13] Von der Leyen defended the choice stating that Hungary's objectives "are clear regarding the integration of the Western Balkans, which are in line with the political agenda of the new European Commission".[9]

Trócsányi had to be confirmed as Commissioner-designate in October by the European Parliament during a committee meeting in the committee on foreign affairs, where he could face strong opposition by Socialists, Greens and Liberals.[14] Commissioner designates have to be assessed by the committee responsible for legal affairs as well, a committee of the European Parliament responsible for legal political affairs, its members being members of parliament, representatives, in form of a procedure assessing conflict of interest. On 26 September 2019, it was reported that Trócsányi will be questioned by the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee about their declarations of interests due to potential conflict of interests.[15] The JURI committee sent a letter with its decision on the potential conflict of interest on the 26 September to the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, adopted by 11 votes to 9 stating that his personal finances in connection with his law firm, he founded before becoming Minister of Justice and due to concerns - without presenting a court judgement or any official document - in relation to extradition of Russian suspects to Russia based on a court judgement[16] during his time as the Hungarian minister of justice.[17][18] President Sassoli, however, asked for clarification on the matter and decided, that in this form, the suggestion of the JURI committee was not based on proper evidence and the decision had to be clarified. The president asked the JURI committee to either state where the conflict of interest lies and recommend how the candidate could solve it or conclude that the candidate is unable to become a European commissioner.[19] Trócsányi published a statement on his Twitter account later that day, stating that he will take all legal steps against the decision.[20] The JURI committee - not being able to give a justified recommendation - issued a letter rejecting his nomination with 12 votes to 9 on 30 September 2019 and stating that the candidate is unable to fill the position of commissioner designate due to a possible conflict of interest"[21] - still not based on evidence.[22] Thereafter, President-elect Von der Leyen asked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to propose a new candidate. Orbán nominated Olivér Várhelyi, Hungary's Permanent Representative to the EU, instead of Professor Trócsányi.[23] Francois-Xavier Bellamy, French member of the European Parliament stated that the procedure against László Trócsányi was "politically and ideologically motivated" and that it was completely against the law and against the mission of the JURI committee.[24]

Views

Defending the Orbán government's immigration policy, Trócsányi stated that "Central Europe is very reluctant to accept multiculturalism, especially since it does not seem to work so well in Western Europe". He believes that the issue of migration is decisive, "because it affects the composition of the population of the country, and therefore the type of society in which we will live, not only today but in twenty years."[25] · [26] He is critical of the idea of the migrant quotas floated by the European Union that would impose embracement of foreign populations on the EU countries that deny participation in the redistribution of the illegal migrants who arrived in the more economically developed parts of the EU in search of a better standard of living. In his opinion, this obligation may affect the national sovereignty and the constitutional identity of the Hungarian State.[27]

Personal life

László Trócsányi is married and has three children.[28]

References

  1. ^ Team, Upsolution. "Nagy és Trócsányi - the premier independent law firm in Hungary". nt.hu. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  2. ^ Pivarnyik, -Balázs (June 28, 2017). "Minister of Justice law firm clients do business with government". Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "bpugyvedikamara". Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "ambassade de Hongrie en France". Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Rózsa, Mihály (15 October 2010). "ENTRETIEN - László Trócsányi, nouvel ambassadeur de Hongrie en France" (in French). lepetitjournal.com. Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Ministers Of The Third Orban Government - Photo Gallery". Daily News Hungary. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Orbán's ten men: tried, trusted and true". The Budapest Times. 14 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  8. ^ "About the new government and the dilemmas of municipality elections". Budapest Telegraph. 13 June 2014. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Those tricky commissioner candidates in full". EUobserver. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament calls on the EU to act | News | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. December 9, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "Trócsányi Steps Back in EP as He Targets Commission Membership". Hungary Today. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Von der Leyen reveals picks for European Commission". Politico. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Hungarian EU Commissioner Nominee 'Undermined Rule of Law'". September 10, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  14. ^ "Viktor Orbán's choice for EU commissioner faces 'rough ride'". The Guardian. 8 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  15. ^ Gotev, Georgi (2019-09-26). "Commissioner-nominees Trocsanyi and Plumb face grilling over personal finances". euractiv.com. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  16. ^ "Vlagyimir Ljubisin és ifj. Vlagyimir Ljubisin kiadatása a szokásos eljárás keretében zajlott". Kormányzat. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  17. ^ "MEPs Reject Hungarian EC-candidate Trócsányi over 'Conflict of Interest'". Hungary Today. 2019-09-26. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  18. ^ "MEPs reject Romanian and Hungarian nominees for European Commission". POLITICO. 2019-09-26. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  19. ^ "Hope for Trócsányi: EP to Hold Another Hearing on Monday". Hungary Today. 2019-09-27. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  20. ^ Trócsányi, László (2019-09-26). "Here you can find my statement regarding today's JURI meeting. @Europarl_EN @Europarl_FRpic.twitter.com/mFPozipKk2". @trocsanyi. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
  21. ^ "Mr Trócsányi's conflicts of interests: not strictly law, but not purely politics, either". English. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  22. ^ "Romania and Hungary's Commission picks rejected for second time". POLITICO. 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  23. ^ "Von der Leyen asks Hungary and Romania for new Commission nominees". POLITICO. 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  24. ^ AFP, Le Figaro avec (2019-10-01). "L'eurodéputé Bellamy envisage une riposte après le rejet du commissaire hongrois". Le Figaro.fr (in French). Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  25. ^ László Trócsányi, La réponse du ministre de la Justice hongrois aux critiques contre son pays, lefigaro.fr, 30 septembre 2015
  26. ^ Migrations : les pays de l’Est se rebiffent, lemonde.fr, 25 septembre 2017
  27. ^ Laszlo Trocsanyi : «La Hongrie entend défendre ses frontières», entretien, lefigaro.fr, 8 mars 2018
  28. ^ Bibliography of László Trócsányi, kormany.hu - Official website of the Hungarian Government

External links

  • Media related to László Trócsányi at Wikimedia Commons
  • Government - Ministry of Justice - The Minister (in English). Hungarian Government.
  • Nagy és Trócsányi (2005). "Hungary Law Digest". Martindale Hubbell International Law Digest, Argentina-Vietnam Law Digests; Selected International Conventions; US Uniform Acts (137th year ed.). New Providence, NJ and London, England: Reed Elsevier Inc. ISBN 1-56160-649-9. Retrieved December 14, 2020 – via Internet Archive.
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