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Justice Minister Varga to FT: EU Should Focus on Terror Threat, Not Rule of Law

Péter Cseresnyés 2020.11.03.

Europe needs to “wake up from hypocrisy and start to talk about real problems: anti-Semitism, murders, and terrorist attacks in western Europe,” Justice Minister Judit Varga said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Tuesday.

The European Union is scheduled to discuss curbing funding for member states seen as violating its values and laws, a move Hungary “vehemently opposes,” according to the paper.

Varga said it was “not fair” for European leaders to “hide behind the corridors of the commission,” instead of expressing their criticism face-to-face.

Justice Minister: EC Rule of Law Report Ignores Detailed Summaries Submitted by Hungary
Justice Minister: EC Rule of Law Report Ignores Detailed Summaries Submitted by Hungary

The European Commission has ignored in its recent rule of law report detailed summaries, data and comparative analyses submitted by Hungary, the justice minister said on Saturday. Judit Varga said on Facebook that EC Vice President Vera Jourova had rejected in a Friday interview Hungarian criticism concerning the report. Jourova also said that the commission’s […]Continue reading

The rule of law is protected by the EU treaty and any new mechanism would amount to “a treaty amendment that requires the consensus of member states,” Varga said.

The Justice Minister assured that the Orbán government was ready to compromise on negotiations over the EU’s seven-year budget and supported the coronavirus recovery package despite Hungary’s “philosophical problems” with taking such a huge loan.

Varga accused the so-called “Frugal Four:” Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands for using the rule of law as an excuse only to hide the fact that they “never wanted to give any funds.”

The Justice Minister thinks rule of law criticism is a guise of ideological pressure used against Hungary only “because we say no to migration, no to multiculturalism, and because we have a different view on the role of family in society,” Varga outlined.

Zsolt András Varga Newly Elected President of Supreme Court Kúria
Zsolt András Varga Newly Elected President of Supreme Court Kúria

On Monday, the National Assembly approved the appointment of Zsolt András Varga as the new president of the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court. Varga was elected by the governing parties with 135 votes in favor and 26 against in a secret ballot. As a protest to his appointment, opposition parties were absent from the parliamentary vote. […]Continue reading

The minister also defended the recent appointment of Zsolt András Varga, the newly elected president of Hungary’s supreme court.

The new head of the top body was appointed despite being rejected by the National Council of the Judiciary (OBT) for his lack of experience as a judge.

Varga said hypocrisy from Brussels had spurred Hungary and Poland to make plans to set up their own “rule of law” institute, because “there must be an alternative for conservative researchers to have a say.”

Featured photo by Gergely Botár/kormany.hu