Hungary has successfully concluded the first phase of its efforts against the novel coronavirus and will be the first European Union member to rescind its special legal order, Justice Minister Judit Varga said in her article, “Budapest to EU: ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word‘,” published by portal EUObserver on Thursday.
“We have managed so far to prevent the pandemic from reaching tragic proportions similar to some member states. This has been possible because the Hungarian government took all the necessary measures in due time and could rely on the sacrifice and discipline of the Hungarian citizens,” Varga wrote.
Varga said that “the extraordinary governance structure chosen by Hungary served its purpose and served it well”. “Without the state of danger, none of the necessary measures could have been taken on time and some of the measures that saved lives couldn’t have been taken at all.”
By submitting its proposal to terminate the state of emergency, the government made it clear that its measures during the crisis were “not only necessary, proportionate and successful but also temporary”.
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Varga insisted that Hungary has been subject to “an unprecedented, coordinated political campaign and hysteria for months”. She said that “the Hungarian government was attacked during the most difficult period in the fight against the pandemic, and the attacks questioned the measures it has taken and undermined the legitimacy of its decisions”.
“Suddenly, it was in Hungary where fundamental rights were in danger and not in countries where the application of the European Convention on Human Rights was suspended.”
“Curiously, it was the Hungarian state of danger, a special legal order regulated by our constitution, that was portrayed as an extra-constitutional situation and not the ad-hoc solutions adopted in some member states through special legislation or constitutional bricolage.”
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Varga said Hungary’s special measures were not at all unique in Europe. Moreover, those measures handed the Hungarian parliament additional powers.
“Even though the [European] Commission was quick to voice its particular concerns about Hungary, it is yet to make its own comparative analysis public, which has been promised so many times, so that we can share our knowledge in a fair and open constitutional dialogue.”
“In an ideal world, Hungary would be entitled to an apology. But we all know that sorry seems to be the hardest word,” the minister concluded her article with a quote from Elton John.
Featured photo by Gergely Botár/kormany.hu