Fidesz MEP József Szájer gave a lecture at the National University of Public Service on Tuesday evening, talking mainly about the important events of the regime change thirty years ago. After his lecture, he also answered many questions regarding current political issues, news site index.hu reports. At one point he said that the country which issued the Golden Bull in 1222 does not have to accept any lectures from anyone else, “especially from the amateur, ideologically driven, and ignorant leaders of other countries.”
Answering a student’s question regarding the state of rule of law in Hungary, Szájer said that the criticism, be it either domestic or on an EU level, was completely misleading: “…the European institutions, which lecture us daily on the rule of law, are the ones forgetting to apply its most fundamental principle to themselves: that the law is the ruler, and not the arbitrary will of the individual.”
According to Szájer, if we have problems “at home,” we should try to find a common solution there first, just “as we did at the time of the regime change.”
Another Debate on Rule of Law in Hungary in EP Legal Affairs Committee
He also criticized that when Fidesz argues that they are essentially doing the same as what “others are doing in the Netherlands or Germany,” the EU also has a typical response for this. As the Venice Commission put it: doing the same thing for a country with long democratic traditions is not the same as doing it for a country that doesn’t have those long-standing traditions, he said.
According to Szájer, not only do we have many years of democracy behind us, but we also have the centuries before that, in which Hungary was a leading political power – also in a constitutional sense, being at the forefront of constitutional developments.
He further explained:
The country which issued the Golden Bull in 1222 does not have to accept any lectures from anyone else, especially from the amateur, ideologically driven, and ignorant leaders of those countries that have been formed only a few decades ago.”
In 1222, King Andrew II of Hungary was obliged to issue an edict, called the Golden Bull (Aranybulla), which was one of the earliest examples of a constitutional limit on the powers of a European monarch and also became an important source of the Hungarian constitution. The Golden Bull, issued only seven years later than the Magna Carta, is often compared to the charter of rights, as it was the first constitutional document of the Hungarian nation, just like the Magna Carta was for the nation of England. The Golden Bull limited royal rights, and established the rights of the Hungarian nobility, including the right to disobey the King when he acted against the law. It also guaranteed justice for all nobles and promised to improve the coinage.
On the question of the relationship and future of the European People’s Party (EPP) and Fidesz, the MEP said that although the European People’s Party is still the strongest force in European politics, its influence is rapidly shrinking and losing momentum.
New EPP Leader Tusk Declares Fight against Populists
In reality, today’s EPP is only a “power machine” with very few principles and ideas that “could actually stand the test of reality,” Szájer said. But the party still has a leading role in the coming period, he added; thus, the connection to the party is a fundamental matter in regard to the Hungarian national interest.
There are numerous possibilities for the outcome, he said, and as the committee of wise men investigates whether Fidesz meets the party family’s conditions, so does Fidesz, as whether they want to be part of such an organization.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI