Transparency and Freedom of Information in the European Institutions – The Case of the Rule of Law Dialouge with Hungary
Szilárd Teczár’s research project focuses on the issue of transparency and access to information within the European institutions. The ongoing Rule of Law Dialouge between the EU institutions and the Hungarian government will be used as a case study.
Since the main actors in the procedures concerning Hungary - the ’Article 7’ procedure, the budget conditionality mechanism and the rule of law-based assessment of the Hungarian Recovery and Resilience Plan – are the European Commission and the Council of the EU, the project will primarily examine how these institutions fulfil the requirement of transparent decision-making and handle freedom of information requests. The project aims to analyze document disclosure practices and responses to freedom of information requests in order to generate insights for journalists and for the general public, and to test the functioning of the European legal framework on freedom of information in practice.
The different procedures against Hungary, triggered by alleged violations of the rule of law, can have profound implications for the integrity of the European Union. As they are connected to the disbursement of EU funds to Hungary, the procedures also hold an economic importance. But does the assessment of the state of the rule of law in Hungary itself correspond to the requirement of transparency? Is it possible to follow the exchanges between the Hungarian government and the EU isntitutions and obtain information about the considerations that lie behind important political and legal decisions? The research of Szilárd Teczár poses these very questions, and he aims for this project to become a practical guide for journalists and those seeking access to information possessed by the EU institutions.
Szilárd Teczár is a journalist and fact-checker at Lakmusz, a Hungarian fact-checking website. Previously, he worked as a staff writer at Magyar Narancs, a political-cultural weekly newspaper. He graduated from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest in 2012, with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Studies.
As a journalist he covers a wide range of EU policies, such as migration, budgetary affairs and rule of law issues. He participated at several international seminars and workshops for journalists, including on tackling disinformation. He takes an avid interest in freedom of information and tries to explore how fact-checking work can be supported by freedom of information (FOI) requests.