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Gov’t Spox: Rule-of-law Criteria Has “Nothing to Do with” Rule of Law

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.12.07.

“Double-dealing” has been going on in Europe ever since the migration crisis emerged in 2015, Hungary’s state secretary for communications and international relations told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio in an interview on Sunday morning.

Commenting on the current stand-off over the EU budget and recovery fund, Zoltán Kovács said the European parliament, commission and current holder of the EU presidency, Germany, were responsible for “the new situation”, not Hungary or Poland, adding that it was therefore the EU institutions that should “come up with a solution”.

Hungary and Poland stated their positions unambiguously during the July EU summit, and their positions have not changed since, Kovács said, noting that the Hungarian prime minister had negotiated based on a mandate handed to him by Hungary’s parliament.

The EP and commission then put forward the proposal on linking funding to rule-of-law criteria which, he insisted, had “nothing to do with” the rule of law.

“It’s about nothing other than enforcing a set of political conditions,” Kovács said.

'Today, rule of law is anything they don't like about Hungary and Poland' - Justice Minister Varga at the Hungary at First 'Site' Conference
'Today, rule of law is anything they don't like about Hungary and Poland' - Justice Minister Varga at the Hungary at First 'Site' Conference

"There is no clear objective criteria and definition for the principles of the rule of law. So, you cannot use it as a tool for a concrete sanctioning mechanism,” Minister Varga said.Continue reading

Rules governing the allocation of EU funds are clearly defined in the EU basic treaty with no connection to any kind of political criteria, he said, adding that Hungary would reject any proposal with political conditions attached, otherwise the EU basic treaty would be contravened.

Commenting on recent criticism by EPP group leader Manfred Weber, Kovács said EU commissioners Vera Jourova, Didier Reynders and Frans Timmermans had “clearly picked on Hungary and Poland” over the past years.

This is about the systematic execution of a plan masterminded not only by Eurocrats … who believe in a United States of Europe … but also by [financier] George Soros who has publically declared how Europe should receive and support migrants while arguing for sanctions against countries that refuse to take them in”

“We’ll resist this because we know exactly what’s at stake in the upcoming debate,” the state secretary said.

Kovács said that instead of protecting Europe’s borders, EU institutions had been doing all they could to keep the community’s borders open for migrants.

“Europe still lacks a plan for protecting its borders, instead proposing taking over immigration matters that are the competence of member states,” he said.

“As if this weren’t enough, Brussels has launched several infringement procedures against Hungary in recent weeks, and over the past months and years,” he said, noting that the most recent one raises concern over the perpetual extension of migration-related rules.

Featured photo illustration by Balázs Mohai/MTI

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