After Prime Minister Viktor Orbán demanded EC Vice President Jourova’s resignation from her post as the commissioner on EU values, the EC assured her of their continuous support. Meanwhile, the commissioner commented on the PM’s letter, rejecting the claim that she had offended the Hungarian people.
“We have seen the letter from Prime Minister Orbán and, of course, we will reply to it,” Deputy Chief Spokesperson of the EC Dana Spinant said at a regular press conference on Tuesday, adding that Vice President Jourova enjoys EC president Ursula von der Leyen’s “full trust.”
EC’s official stance follows Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s letter to Ursula von der Leyen, demanding Jourova’s resignation after she stated in an interview that Orbán “is building a sick democracy.”
The prime minister claimed that Jourova’s statements are not only „an attack on the democratically elected Hungarian government” but “they are offensive to Hungary and the Hungarian people, too.” “The former is inappropriate, the latter is unacceptable,” he emphasized. Orbán also announced that until Jourova resigns, the Hungarian government will suspend any political contacts with the commissioner.
Jourova rejects claims of PM Orbán
In reaction to Orbán’s letter, EC Vice President Jourová told Politico on Tuesday that she didn’t want to “engage in personal attacks,” adding: “But I want to strongly reject one thing: I never offended the Hungarian people. On the contrary. I have nothing but huge respect for the Hungarian people and the choices they make.”
Jourova thinks this doesn’t mean that we should not speak critically if needed, about actions of governments and elected representatives in the Commission or in the member states. “In democracy, no one’s actions are above criticism,” she concluded.
The sharp criticism of the Orbán government might have to do with the Commission’s first upcoming rule of law report which will likely find serious problems in this regard in some member states, including Hungary. Also, the debate over a proposed mechanism linking the EU funding to the rule of law is underway as well.
Featured photo via Jourova’s Twitter page