Europe experts urge Hungary to tighten anti-corruption laws, control lobbying, limit immunity

Associated Press

Experts from the Council of Europe say Hungary should strengthen its anti-corruption laws, including regulating contacts between lawmakers and lobbyists and limiting the immunity of public officials.

Wednesday's report by the council's Group of States against Corruption makes 18 recommendations, also calling for ethics training for lawmakers and judges and a one-term limit for the prosecutor general to increase independence from political influence. Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland urged Hungary to follow the recommendations, saying that "fighting corruption is essential for all Council of Europe member states."

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Calls for greater transparency in Hungary's legislative process coincide with criticism from local anti-corruption advocates, who have highlighted several suspicious recent examples, such as the distribution of long-term contracts for using state-owned farmland and the allocation of exclusive tobacco shop licenses.