MEP László Trócsányi, representing Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party in the European Parliament, has rejected the accusation of anti-Europeanness but criticized the European Union for being controlled by a “narrow circle”, in an interview.
“The operation of European institutions is rather different from what we can read in the treaties or the books,” he told the French Le Point weekly published on Friday.
In principle, all member states are equal in the European Parliament but “real power is held by a narrow circle” and decisions are made “behind closed doors”, he said.
Trócsányi said the key debates focus on “centralization” and “subsidiarity” in Europe.
The European institutions believe that the member states are unable to resolve their problems, and offer centralization as a panacea, he said, adding that the European Court of Justice also seems to give centralization priority over subsidiarity.
The member states are expected to react efficiently under European rules of law that prove to be inefficient, he said, bringing up migration and the pandemic as examples.
Trócsányi said that Belgian liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt, a staunch advocate of centralization, “is no longer speaking about states, only about European citizens”.
He said that national parliaments and the member states, especially the central European ones, are being sidelined in the European institutions.
Comparing Europe to the Holy Roman Empire, Trócsányi said that “decisions are made centrally and central Europe is seen as a periphery that has the duty to simply implement them”.
“I would like to live in a Europe which has neither a center, nor peripheries and where all can feel themselves being in the center,” he said.
“If those putting up questions are branded as anti-European, we will shift towards a kind of soft totalitarianism. But I don’t want to see the European Union breaking up!” he said.
Trócsányi said that while Hungary’s economic achievements are not questioned by anyone, the European Union seeks to intervene in the country’s election campaign by blocking the EU funds earmarked for supporting Hungary’s post-pandemic recovery.
“Hungary is being punished because it is not considered a good student,” Trócsányi said in the interview.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI