“Our greatest European vision is to create a strong alliance of strong nation states” based on cooperation and mutual respect, rather than building a “supra-national state in which Europe’s colours are lost”, Justice Minister Judit Varga said in Madrid.
Giving a talk at a conference held at the Saint Paul Catholic university on the future of Europe, the minister said current disputes over European values were regrettable and “often presented as an opposition between right and wrong”. “However, we share the same values. Moreover, we have shed blood in the fight for those values to make Europe’s diversity even richer.”
The minister said respect must be shown for the freedom of member states in areas such as national identity, family-related issues, and welfare policy with special regard to setting the minimum wage. She insisted that member states “know their own situation best and have the way to meet their goals”. “Forcing them from above could harm many countries’ competitiveness and work against actual market trends,” Varga said, referring to plans to introduce a single European minimum wage.
Answering a question, Varga said that while the EU had launched infringement proceedings against Hungary “over its handling the migration crisis”, Lithuania and Poland were getting support and financing to build a fence along their border to stop illegal migration.
She insisted that the Hungarian government’s position on migration was increasingly popular in the EU, adding that procedures against Hungary should be terminated and the EU should reimburse Hungary for its fence which protects Europe’s borders.
During her visit, Varga met Pablo Zapatero Miguel, state secretary at the Spanish justice ministry, for talks on the digitalization of the judiciary, discussed the EU’s enlargement policy with Juan Gonzalez Barba, state secretary for EU affairs, and also met Santiago Abascal, president of the right-wing populist VOX party.
Featured illustration via Judit Varga’s Facebook page