Heading the delegation of the Constitutional Court of Austria, Gerhart Holziner visited Pannonhalma on the invitation of the president of the Hungarian Constitutional Court. Minister of Justice László Trócsányi presented to the president of the Constitutional Court of Austria the state medal of the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit (civilian division) and president of the Constitutional Court Tamás Sulyok awarded him the Medal of the Constitutional Court. The ceremony was preceded by the joint session of the judges of the two constitutional courts where they reviewed the relation between the Austrian and Hungarian constitutional courts and the European Court of Justice as well as the European Court of Human Rights.

As pointed out by Tamás Sulyok in the laudation of the Austrian president: the dialogue between the European constitutional courts and their dialogue with the European judicial fora are indispensable in the European societies of today. The judges of the constitutional courts, who safeguard the rule of law during interpreting and applying the Member States’ constitutions, need role models whose life and work can serve as examples to be followed by younger generations responsible for the protection of the rule of law. Gerhart Holzinger is not only a scholar of constitutional law of extraordinary talent but also a wise diplomat and a prominent personality.  In the past ten years, the person of the Austrian president had been the guarantee of an inter-institutional cooperation based on open and fair exchange of opinions, mutual respect and serious work.

Gerhart Holzinger – just as Péter Paczolay the former president of the Hungarian Constitutional Court – has always been deeply committed to the development of bilateral relations between constitutional courts.  Since 2008, the taking of office by president Holzinger, the Austrian and the Hungarian constitutional courts have organised five bilateral meetings, but there had been several meeting before that date, too. Such a close cooperation between the constitutional courts is considered as a special contribution to other bilateral relations in the broad sense between Austria and Hungary.

As a guest of honour, president of the Curia Péter Darák and the representatives of the embassies also attended the event as well as Archabbot of the Pannonhalma Abbey Asztrik Várszegi, the host of the event.

The curriculum vitae of the Austrian president Gerhart Holzinger can be found on the website of the Constitutional Court of Austria: https://www.vfgh.gv.at/verfassungsgerichtshof/verfassungsrichter/gerhart_holzinger.de.html

Budapest, 24 October 2017.