Justice Minister Bence Tuzson held a press conference after the Justice Council meeting in Brussels, saying that Hungary has fulfilled all the European Commission’s requests regarding the reform of the Hungarian judiciary, and is therefore waiting for the EU funds it is entitled to receive.
As for the blocked EU funds, he underlined that Hungary has complied with all requests to the European Commission. As he said,
there is no outstanding request made to Hungary that the country has not “fulfilled 100 percent.”
Magyar Nemzet reports that Euronews had recently written, citing EU officials, that Brussels considers the requested Hungarian measures sufficient to free up EUR 10.4 billion from the previously blocked cohesion fund.
The Justice Minister underlined at the press conference that only technical changes remained to be made, and that these will be sent to the relevant EU bodies within days.
Moving on to the issue of sovereignty, Magyar Nemzet writes that Bence Tuzson stressed: “Behind the professional issues there are also political ones, the most important of which for Hungary is the issue of sovereignty.” Within the issue of sovereignty, migration is an important concern, he highlighted at the press conference. The Justice Minister stressed that identifying the causes behind migration is just as important as victim assistance and justice. In response to a question, he said that officially, Brussels still maintains that the issue of migration and terrorism is not linked. However, during unofficial, private conversations, this is not the case, he pointed out. The Hungarian government is convinced that “the two issues are interlinked, and there are now clear signs of this,” he added.
Bence Tuzson stressed that
Hungary’s sovereignty is also linked to Europe’s competitiveness,
“so when we see that both the United States and China are leaving Europe behind in terms of competitiveness and that by 2030 we will be seriously lagging behind, there are many questions to be asked of European decision-makers.”
One of the technical issues that needs to be taken forward by the European Union in the minister’s view is the issue of data protection, i.e. GDPR. In his opinion, the European Commission’s approach is not helping the EU’s competitiveness and never looks at the bigger picture when it comes to regulation. “GDPR regulation is exemplary in terms of protecting people, but it often places a burden on small and medium-sized enterprises that they cannot bear and leads to a business disadvantage.”
Tuzson, on behalf of the Hungarian government, asked the Commission to look at this issue from a competitiveness perspective. As he said,
…if big tech companies in the world know more about a country’s citizens than the country itself or any of the European companies, then that country or company is at a competitive disadvantage compared to companies operating from the U.S. or China that look at European people’s data from there.”
The minister said that where the investigative powers should be and who should order them is a sovereignty issue for Hungary. “Constitutionally, this cannot be otherwise in Hungary than it is at the moment. It would mean a significant part of Hungary’s sovereignty to be lost if it were to give it up,” he noted.
Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured image: Facebook/European Commission