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Justice Minister: EU Institutions Constantly Breaking Rules over Article 7 Procedure

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.12.12.

The European Union’s Article 7 procedure against Hungary is a “witch hunt masked as a legal process”, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Thursday.

Speaking to public news channel M1, Varga said that though Hungary was putting forward legal arguments during the procedure, because it had been launched “on political grounds”, it would also need to be closed on the basis of a political decision.

Justice Minister Varga: Rule of Law Often Used as Political Weapon

If the EU considered Hungary’s legal arguments, the proceedings could have been closed a long time ago, she said, arguing that had made its position clear on multiple occasions over the course of the procedure.

Varga described the procedure as a “well-conceived operation” as part of which “organisations backed by the Open Society Foundation release opinions that are then cross-referenced, used in the drafting of reports and then they have member states read them out.”

Justice Minister on Article 7 Hearing: Proceedings ‘Controlled from Outside’

Commenting on Tuesday’s hearing on the state of the rule of law in Hungary in the European Union’s General Affairs Council, Varga said no one at the hearing “was interested in our answers”, adding that the entire procedure “is starting to look ridiculous”.

She noted that EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders had made it clear during the hearing that the commission had no intention of ending the procedure. The minister said the EU was looking to turn the procedure into a “never-ending story” by inserting topics that were not even mentioned in the so-called Sargentini report that had launched it.

Gov’t Spox: EU Hearing ‘Ideological Campaign Masked as Legal Process’

Varga also lamented that the “disorderly” way in which the Sargentini report had been approved “is never brought up”.

“This is another use of double standards, that we respect the rule of law but the European institutions are constantly breaking the rules over the course of the procedure,” Varga said.

In the featured photo illustration: Justice Minister Judit arga. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI