EP Committee on Women’s Rights delegation to visit Hungary

February 14, 2018

EP's Women’s Rights committee delegation spends two days in Hungary
L-R: Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats MEP Maria Noichl, Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party MEP Angelika Mlinar, and Greens-European Free Alliance MEP Terry Reintke

The European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) committee will spend two days in Hungary. The three-member delegation will consult with women’s rights NGOs and members of the government about what progress Hungary has made in the field in the past couple of years, zoom.hu reports.

The delegation consists of delegation leader Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats MEP Maria Noichl from Germany, Greens-European Free Alliance MEP Terry Reintke also from Germany, and Austrian Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party MEP Angelika Mlinar. According to zoom.hu’s information, Tuesday evening the delegation will dine with Fidesz vice-president and undersecretary for family and youth Katalin Novák and undersecretary with the Ministry of Justice Pál Völner, whom the delegation will ask why Hungary still has not ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The delegation will meet with representatives of several women’s rights and gender equality advocacy NGOs, including the (rather bizarrely named) Women for Women Together Against Violence Association (NANE) and Hungary’s oldest LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Intersex) group Háttér (Background) Society. The delegation will reportedly discuss gender studies with directors of the gender studies program at the Central European University (CEU) and the Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE). The discussion will include a representative of the Corvinus University of Budapest, where the government launched a family sciences counter-degree program last year.

Members of the FEMM delegation will also meet president of the Hungarian Equal Treatment Authority Ágnes Honecz and Commissioner for Fundamental Rights László Székely. On Wednesday, the delegation will visit the European Roma Rights Center and the Sure Start Children’s Centre.

Although the arrival to Hungary of a foreign or supranational delegation is usually heralded by the pro-government press, that of the FEMM delegation was not publicized by the government and has gone largely unreported. This is the second European Parliamentary Committee meeting in a year following last September’s visit of the Committee on Budgetary Control.