The measures enacted by Hungary during the state of emergency were not only “necessary, proportionate and successful”, but also temporary, Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote in an op-ed for Brussels-based news portal Euractiv, underlining that this was “a truth that will prevail no matter how many times it is denied by those who seek to push their own political agenda.”
Having put up a successful fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic and with the end of the state of emergency, the government had hoped “that the moment of truth had finally arrived”, Varga said. The government had hoped that “what had become an unprecedented level of criticism directed at Hungary would end and those who made such outrageous claims about the country might take a moment for self-reflection”, she said.
But, Varga added, it appeared that “in this polarised era” the truth mattered little if it was inconvenient “for the purposes of pushing a political agenda”.
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“I have said before that Brussels is more concerned with demonising Hungary than respecting the rule of law, which should be consistently and equally applied to all Member States,” Varga said. “In the face of this, what difference does it make that the extraordinary measures introduced in Hungary were in no way unique in Europe?”
Varga insisted that a “genuine moment of truth” would reveal “how vulnerable the ‘rule of law’ toolbox of various international organisations is to political abuse”. Without objective standards that all member states agree to, reliable and balanced information and fair and transparent procedures, “the rule of law mechanism currently in place will continue to be captured by particular political interests and be used as a bargaining chip in political horse-trading,” she said.
“That should concern us all,” the minister added. “While the past few months have singled out Hungary, any Member State could one day become a target.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI