Threats to national identity and sovereignty “cannot be used as blackmail”, Justice Minister Judit Varga said in an interview to pro-government public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió on Monday, in reference to Hungary and Poland’s lawsuit against the European Union’s rule-of-law conditionality mechanism.
Varga said the mechanism in the EU budget linking funding for member states to the rule of law “can’t be allowed to remain in effect”, arguing that it infringed legal certainty.
Hungary and Poland’s lawsuit argues that the legislation has no legal basis and lacks clarity, as there is no definition in place for the rule of law at an international level, she said. Also, a “lower-level law” cannot be used to circumvent the bloc’s founding treaties, she added.
Varga argued that the rule of law was a “desire” for state bodies to function according to reliable principles, adding that this could be done differently in different countries. “This is another area in which national identity comes into play,” she said. “We can’t apply a uniform definition to the rule of law.”
She said some in the EU were “frustrated” that Hungary’s approaches to fundamental issues like the concept of the family or migration were different than those of the majority.
“It’s this frustration that they’re trying to take out on us in the guise of the rule of law,” she said. “This is not the kind of Europe we joined. Back then, the fundamental principle was equality among the member states.”
featured image via Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI