János Bóka will be the minister responsible for European Union affairs in the government, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office announced. János Bóka, who is currently State Secretary for European Union Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, will fill his new post August 1.
In the last few days, a rather important change in the government has taken place: Justice Minister Judit Varga announced that she will step down from her post on July 31 to prepare for the European Parliament elections next year. Varga is reportedly in line to head Fidesz’s EP list, subject to the party’s approval.
The resignation has raised the burning question of who will take her place. The answer was not long in coming, as it emerged last week that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán nominated State Secretary Bence Tuzson for the post. Tuzson accepted the nomination and asked the prime minister to ensure that the Ministry of Justice does not deal with EU matters in the future, only functioning as a “pure” justice ministry.
Minister Gergely Gulyás has now announced that this change has been accepted by Orbán, but in light of the request, a minister for EU affairs was needed.
As a result, the prime minister has entrusted the EU affairs to János Bóka.
Fact János Bóka was State Secretary for EU and International Justice Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice from 2018 to 2021, and from 2021 to 2022, he was State Secretary for EU Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office. From 2022, he was again State Secretary for EU Affairs at the Ministry of Justice and the Prime Minister’s Commissioner. He was previously Associate Professor and then Deputy Dean at the National University of Public Service.
Bóka’s appointment as minister is also justified by the fact that Hungary will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2024,
so the new minister will be responsible for coordinating preparations for the presidency with the country’s EU allies and with the ministries within the government, Gulyás explained.
Bóka participated in the Danube Institue’s conference on the rule of law in early June, where he said that he believes that the current political debates will have no impact on the Hungarian EU Presidency in 2024. The rule of law as a political concept has undergone an interesting transformation, he stated, adding that in the EU, we can see that issues taking place in a domestic political context are being transferred to the European political arena, and because of this, the politicization of rule of law issues can be observed. He emphasized that to his understanding, the EU is not an integration project but a legal project established to achieve goals that countries could not achieve on their own.
Featured photo via MTI/Soós Lajos