On behalf of the Hungarian government, Justice Minister Judit Varga asked the European Commission to inform her whether the body had cooperated with Action for Democracy in any projects.
In a post on her Facebook page on Thursday, Judit Varga said she had sent a letter to Vera Jourová, the Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency
The minister wrote that “in connection with the elections in Hungary in 2022, in the last couple of months, it has been revealed that the electoral campaign of the united opposition parties received a considerable amount of foreign funding (i.e. funding stemming from outside the European Union) from the organization Action for Democracy,” which is connected to Dávid Korányi, a former advisor to the mayor of Budapest, opposition politician Gergely Karácsony.
According to Varga,
the significance of this case is “considerable” not only for Hungarians but also for European citizens, who “should get verified information on any kind of external influence on their democratic electoral processes.”
She added that considering the current major corruption scandal in Brussels, this matter requires particular attention from the EU institutions.”
The minister added that in recent years, the European Commission has shown that it is ready to be “flexible” in interpreting its competencies in the defense of democracy and the rule of law. This, she said, is illustrated by the practice of the rule of law reports and their recommendations. Varga wrote that she trusted that the Commission would do likewise when asked by the Hungarian government to cooperate in defending these values.
Last week, it was revealed that Action for Democracy sent the opposition Everyone’s Hungary Movement and associated organizations and businesses over 3 billion forints (7.6 million euros), a higher sum than previously thought, according to the National Information Center (NIK). Earlier, foreign support was mentioned by the opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay. The funds were not given to the parties, but to his organization, the Everybody’s Hungary Movement – thereby circumventing the legal ban on parties receiving foreign funding.
Featured photo via Facebook/Varga Judit