Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, has announced that he will "take action with Hungary and set the mechanism in motion - because of suspicions of corruption and problems with public procurement."Continue reading
Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, on Tuesday said Brussels was making a mistake “by dancing to the Hungarian left-wing’s whistle”, in response to the European Commission’s announcement on activating the rule-of-law conditionality against the country.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Strasbourg earlier on Tuesday that the EC has sent a notification to Hungary, the first step in activating the mechanism which links the payment of EU funds to the state of the rule of law.
In response to the announcement, Gulyás said that the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat (KDNP) alliance garnered nearly 2.9 million votes at Sunday’s general election.
Some 3.3 million people expressed agreement with the government’s stance on child protection in the referendum held simultaneously, Gulyás told MTI.
Gulyás said that the turnout shows “unprecedented support” for the ruling parties and for the amendment to Hungary’s child protection law, which the European Union has called discriminatory against the LGBTQ community.
“Rather than complying with the requests of the Hungarian left-wing, which just suffered a defeat, the EC should return to common sense and dialogue,” he said. The Hungarian government has always been open to the latter, he said.
He called on Brussels “not to punish Hungarian voters” for expressing choices “that Brussels does not like”.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Judit Varga responded to the announcement by calling on the EC to accept the decision of Hungarians and not “to punish Hungary only because the majority did not vote as Brussels wanted on April 3”.
In her English post on Facebook, the minister noted that there are conditions for launching the rule-of-law conditionality procedure, including a vote by the College of Commissioners to be followed by a formal notification to the Hungarian government. “However, to our knowledge, none of this has happened so far,” Varga said.
She said the Hungarian government was not interested in political statements and was waiting to receive a formal notification with concrete details to which Varga said the government would respond.
Varga said Hungarian voters stated “a strong opinion” about the policies of the left wing in Sunday’s ballot, with some 2.9 million of them giving the incumbent parties a mandate to continue their policies. “We will continue to stand by the Child Protection Act, as confirmed by more than 3 million unanimous votes cast in the referendum,” the justice minister said.
Featured photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI