It is important for the European Union to demonstrate its commitment to fundamental values and “apply the same rules to each member without resorting to any double standards”, Balázs Hidvéghi, MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, said in a European Parliamentary debate on the rule of law in Malta, on Tuesday.
“Mixing up the Malta case with other disputes such as with Hungary or Poland is ridiculous,” the MEP said and slammed the leftist opposition for their “hypocrisy” in their approach to the rule of law.
In the debate, concerning the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, European Commissioner Vera Jourova announced the EC’s plans to introduce a mandatory mechanism to protect the rule of law in each member state. The planned mechanism would ensure a European review of such areas as the independence of law courts, anti-corruption measures, as well as the freedom of the media, she said.
Jourova voiced concern about the Malta murder and called it an attack against a free press, and argued that curbing media freedoms and intimidating journalists signalled a hazard for democracy.
Anna Donáth, MEP of Hungary’s Momentum movement, said that member states “must not interpret the rule of law as they like”.
“This is a common European priority, regardless of whether Hungary, Poland, or Malta is concerned,” she insisted.
In the featured photo: Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI