Sweden has rejected a European Parliament resolution that would take the EU Presidency away from Hungary in 2024. In a resolution to be adopted soon, the EP would ban Hungary from holding the EU presidency because of the rule of law proceedings against it, reports Index.
Earlier, Szabad Európa (Radio Free Europe) reported that Swedish European Affairs Minister Jessika Roswall, responding to a question from journalists after Tuesday’s meeting of the General Affairs Council, essentially rejected the idea of Stockholm, which holds the Council presidency until June 30, opening a debate on the issue, which the European Parliament is expected to demand in a resolution to be adopted on Thursday.
The rotating presidency of the European Union is in line with the EU treaty, and all countries are therefore expected to respect the values, represent the whole Council, and act as neutral arbiters,
the Swedish minister said.
Tuesday’s meeting focused on the Article 7 proceedings against Hungary and Poland. After the meeting, European Commissioner Vera Jourová said that the procedure would not be closed as long as the concerns persist and as long as Hungary has not delivered the results required by the European Commission. According to her, the European Commission has not seen any progress in implementing the proposals to ensure the independence of the ombudsman and the public media, among others, and that Hungary must meet the ‘super milestones’ required to mobilize recovery funds.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament could soon adopt a resolution on Hungary’s unsuitability to hold the EU presidency, due next year. The body says the Hungarian government is, among other things, violating the EU’s core values and failing to abide by the principle of loyal cooperation.
The draft resolution of the EP would call on the European Council to find a solution to this problem, otherwise, it said, the European Parliament would intervene. Germany has already expressed its support towards the proposal, as they do not believe that Hungary is capable of carrying out the tasks of the rotating presidency of the European Union.
However, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has published an opinion piece expressing a contrary view. According to the author, Nikolas Busse, it is not a good idea to deny Hungary the EU presidency and it should be left to the Commission to correct undesirable developments in Hungary. He believes that the rotating presidency should not be overestimated, as the European Commission and the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs have a major role to play in Brussels anyway.
Regarding the developments, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said that the European Parliament was once again trying to take something away from Hungary, but stressed that the government would not let it happen. The decision on who will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union was made by unanimous agreement. The European Parliament has not been dealt a hand on this issue, Judit Varga stated, adding that the Hungarian government is in daily contact with the Council’s Secretariat General and is preparing for the task.
Featured photo via European Parliament