“In recent weeks, several EU governments have taken emergency measures to address the health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak (…) It is of the utmost importance that emergency measures are not at the expense of our principles and values fundamentals established in the treaties, “says the statement.
In particular, the President of the EC addressed the issue of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
“Now it is more important than ever that journalists can carry out their work freely and accurately to counter misinformation and ensure that our citizens have access to crucial information,” said Von der Leyen.
He added that emergency measures should be limited to “what is necessary” and be “strictly proportional”, nor should they last indefinitely.
“Governments must ensure that these measures are subject to regular review,” the statement said.
Von der Leyen stated that the European Commission will closely monitor the application of emergency in all states members of the EU.
On March 30, the Hungarian Parliament approved a bill that was presented by the Government of Viktor Orbán.
This bill gives the Hungarian Cabinet additional powers to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Parliament’s decision resulted in a wave of criticism from the opposition, human rights groups and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which they believe the Hungarian authorities took advantage of. of the situation to obtain additional powers not limited in time.
Since March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) qualifies as a pandemic COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, capital of central-eastern Hubei province, in late 2019.
Globally, more than 809,000 infections have been detected by the virus, including some 39,500 deaths, according to the American Johns Hopkins University. More than 172,800 people have already overcome the infection.