The European Parliament will hold a debate on the state of the rule of law in Hungary without allowing the country’s government to present its standpoint, “at a time when thousands die and millions lose their jobs in Europe every day”, the justice minister said on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the EP will debate whether Hungary’s law on combatting the coronavirus epidemic lives up to democratic standards, Judit Varga said. However, Socialist EP President David Sassoli “in an official letter” refused to give speaking time to Hungary’s justice minister at the meeting, citing internal procedural regulations, she said.
The “leftist liberal majority” of the EP is “about to judge Hungary while ignoring the basic principles of due process,” Varga said.
The EP is also ignoring the official statement of the European Commission which said the Hungarian law on combatting the virus is not violating EU law, she said.
Over the past few weeks, Hungary has suffered “unfounded political attacks on an unprecedented scale”, Varga said, despite EC Vice-President Vera Jourova’s statement that the Hungarian law was not against European law.
(Lately, Vera Jourova said she had never said that the Hungarian Authorization Law (or “coronavirus epidemic bill”) does not infringe community law. She added that “if we look at what has happened in Hungary so far, the legislation is very disturbing.” She emphasized that Brussels was particularly vigilant in the case of Hungary and reiterated that there is no legal basis for initiating infringement proceedings yet, adding that she was emphasizing “yet.”)
Justice Minister Varga to EC Vice President Jourova’s Criticism: ‘The cat is out of the bag again’
Nonetheless, the EP “wishes to discuss Hungary instead of concentrating on aiding member states’ efforts to combat the coronavirus”, she said.
Varga said she would talk to Jourova later on Tuesday and send a response to Sassoli.
Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI