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Justice Minister to Reuters: Hungary Rejects Tying EU Funding to Rule of Law

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.07.25.

Hungary will resist any effort by the European Commission to tie European Union funding to observance of the rule of law, the justice minister told the Reuters news agency in an interview on Wednesday.

The EU already has the tools it needs to safeguard the rule of law and the distribution of EU funding, Judit Varga said.

We don’t have to (re)invent the wheel,

the minister said. Varga said the definition of “generalised deficiency” regarding the rule of law in the EU’s 2021-27 draft budget was too vague.

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She said her goal was to “completely drop” this proposal, pointing out that there was a “package principle” when adopting the draft budget. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. And this is a red line,” she said. Varga denied that Hungary was violating the principle of the rule of law.

The minister dismissed a plan by the outgoing European Commission to introduce a regular rule of law review similarly to how it reviews member states’ national budgets, saying it was “completely contrary to the treaties”.

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Varga added that hopefully the new commission would “build bridges instead of making gaps” between member states.