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Justice Minister in Poland Signs Agreement on Legal Cooperation

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.07.21.

Justice Minister Judit Varga and Zbigniew Ziobro, her Polish counterpart, signed an agreement in Warsaw on Monday concerning cooperation between Hungary’s Mádl Ferenc Institute of legal comparative studies and Poland’s International Law Institute.

Hungary unconditionally supports plans raised within the Visegrad Group to set up an international legal comparative institute, Varga told MTI by phone from Warsaw. Both Hungary and Poland deem it necessary to build “a knowledge base and community of lawyers in central Europe to promote the region’s specific position concerning Europe’s legal and state development, as well as key issues around European integration,” Varga said.

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The minister said it was also important to build up a network of professors to provide a “conservative alternative based on strong nation states”, arguing that in Europe’s legal circles and mainstream media “there is a strong European federalist trend”.

The minister said her talks also touched on the European Union summit concerning the bloc’s budget and coronavirus rescue package, adding that the Hungarian government would not accept tying community aid to the rule of law in the recipient country if those conditions are aimed at exerting political pressure. “Economic aspects must not be mixed up with politics or ideology, and must not be used for political pressure,” she said.

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“The rule of law does not have a generally accepted definition; neither do the EU treaties provide a sufficient legal basis to hold member states accountable,” she said, adding that “should the European Commission be granted a mechanism to hold members accountable it would raise opportunities for a subjective assessment and arbitrary use of the law”.

“Hungary believes that the rule of law can only be interpreted on the basis of a dialogue that takes place between governments that are respectful of each other, and it should not be mixed up in any way with the logic of the EU budget or EU sanctions,” Varga said. Conditioning community funding on the rule of law issue would “clearly be a political and ideological weapon”, she added.

Featured photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI