Weekly newsletter

“Every cent owed to Hungary must be paid; ideological blackmail is unacceptable,” Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi stressed in Strasbourg on Wednesday, after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that the EU would continue to withhold EUR 20 billion from Hungary due to concerns over LGBTQ rights, academic freedom, and asylum.

Although Hungary has met the conditions for accessing cohesion funds by adopting a new law on judicial reform, some EUR 20 billion will remain frozen until the Hungarian government meets all the necessary conditions due to further concerns, the EU Commission President said. Ursula von der Leyen, speaking at the European Parliament plenary debate on the state of the rule of law in Hungary and the frozen EU funds, stressed that the new law on judicial reform guarantees the strengthening of the judicial independence and limits the possibility of political interference in the judiciary.

However, funds withheld over concerns about sexual minority rights, academic freedom, and asylum will remain frozen until Hungary meets all the necessary conditions,

the EU Commission President said.

Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: European Parliament

In his speech, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said that the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which began its six-month term at the beginning of January, was concerned about the state of the rule of law in Europe. “As it does not want the rule of law principle to be violated in the case of Hungary, it will continue the Article 7 procedure while engaging in dialogue with the Hungarian government,” he said.


MEPs debated a resolution on Wednesday condemning the release of EU funds to Hungary and calling for a halt to the disbursement of the money, with the vote due to take place on Thursday, Euractiv reports. Liberal MEP Moritz Körner told the news portal that Ursula von der Leyen had allowed herself to be blackmailed by Viktor Orbán into handing over EUR 10.2 billion of taxpayers’ money to Hungary, despite the country being massively corrupt.

The Renew political group, led by Hungarian Momentum MEP Katalin Cseh and Moritz Körner, will decide whether to table an amendment to bring a motion of censure against von der Leyen if further EU funds are released to Hungary. The proposal provides, among other things, for the EU heads of state and government to decide whether the country’s voting rights should be withdrawn. However, the proposed decision is no more than a political declaration, and even if adopted, would not be legally binding on the European Commission.

Balázs Hidvéghi, MEP from Hungarian governing party Fidesz, responded by saying that “ideological blackmail to suspend Hungary’s voting rights just because we disagree on important political issues is unacceptable.” The politician posted his speech on his social media page.

“Ideological blackmail is unacceptable,” he stressed, noting that if MEPs “want to see real problems with the rule of law, they should be more concerned with what is happening in Poland right now.”

“This is too much even for the European Parliament,” he said, adding that the proposal was “as shameful as it is absurd.”

If you do not agree with someone, you want to silence them and take away their right to vote? This is a dictatorship. You are digging the grave of the European Union. Wake up and stop this madness,”

the Hungarian politician said in his speech.

Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communication and Relations, reacted to von der Leyen’s words on his social media page on Wednesday. “Brussels is trying to blackmail us into accepting their LGBTQ and migration rules and is misusing EU funds,” he said.

“The irony is that LGBTQ rights and migration policy are matters of national competence,” as is freedom of higher education and research, “which means that these are areas where the European Union has no say whatsoever, and to be honest, it would not be right for it to have any.” He stressed that the EU treaties clearly provide for this.

He added that although Prime Minister Orbán’s governments “have shown a great willingness to cooperate and find compromises with Brussels in all areas where this was possible,” the Child Protection Law – which, he wrote, “Brussels calls an LGBTQ law, but it is really about protecting our children,” and migration policy, “fall far beyond the red line.”

Head of State in Talks with European Commission President
Head of State in Talks with European Commission President

Ursula von der Leyen claims that the EU would find a way to avoid Hungary's veto on the fund for Ukraine.Continue reading

Via MTI, Ungarn Heute; Featured image: Facebook/European Commission

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>