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Dec 09, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

Today’s Article 7 hearing: It’s getting ridiculous

Pro-migration forces in Brussels are back at it again, and their ideologically driven determination to ram through this Article 7 procedure has reached ridiculous proportions.

In a couple of hours, the General Affairs Council will hold a second hearing as part of the Article 7 procedure against Hungary.  This marks the tenth, at least, such hearing on Hungary supposedly concerning questions of rule of law and European values. In the beginning, we cooperated in good faith, expecting that reason and fairness would prevail. And we cooperate again today, but we should all be clear on what this is really all about.

This is the Soros chorus, the self-appointed band of unelected NGOs and their left-liberal co-conspirators in Brussels. Having taken part in many of these hearings myself - and I’m in Brussels again for today’s hearing - I’ve seen up close how this works. Under the guise of a “legal procedure,” they wage an ideologically-driven legal campaign, and they’re relentless.

Over the last several weeks, these forces have been working overtime. We’ve seen an “independent” coalition of Soros-funded NGOs issue a report on press freedom in Hungary, a “research” report presented in the EP raising charges of cheating in Hungary’s last elections based entirely on interviews with opposition ballot counters, a documentary film on the plight of CEU, former CEU students “briefing” ministers in preparation for today’s hearing, a smear campaign in the international press about Hungary’s otherwise rather ordinary decision to withdraw from Eurovision, and more.

The rule of law charges are a big nothing burger. This is the Soros chorus waging its political campaign. The fact that these political interests have gone to such ridiculous lengths is undermining the legitimacy of these EU institutions and the process.

Let’s recall where this process began.

In September 2018, the European Parliament’s pro-migration majority pushed through a report submitted by former Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini, on the state of Hungary’s rule of law, intent on tying EU cohesion and structural funding to an arbitrary list of “requirements.”

For what it’s worth, the report comes with a laundry list of all the criticisms that Europe’s liberals have thrown at the Orbán Governments since 2010 – including many that Hungary has already resolved with the Commission or other European institutions and more than a few that simply do not fall under the authority of the European Union.

As I said, we’ve always been ready to cooperate with the EU in resolving these matters – and clearly did so with the Commission on several questions – but, as one jab followed the other, it became clear that, in fact, this is a politically charged process orchestrated as an act of revenge by the EP’s pro-migration majority. The reason they’ve got it in for us is that Hungary dared to pursue different paths on some of the most pressing policy areas, especially immigration, where common EU action has either failed or did not manage to resolve the apparent issues we face every day.

In September, Minister of Justice Judit Varga appeared in front of the EU’s General Affairs Council. Following the hearing, she had some choice words about the session.

“The current offensives began more than a year ago, but their real cause is that Hungary and Hungarians have refused since 2015 to allow the policies of the pro-immigration political forces,” said the minister after the hearing. “That’s why they’re attacking us – because we said no to migration.”

We’ll see what other surprises – or non surprises – are in store for us today, but it’s getting ridiculous Stay tuned!