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Apr 23, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Justice Minister says Hungary believes in EU solidarity

Justice Minister Judit Varga attended a European Council’s General Affairs Council (GAC) video conference yesterday, which reviewed national and EU responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Justice Minister Judit Varga attended a European Council’s General Affairs Council (GAC) video conference yesterday, which reviewed national and EU responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The minister said afterwards that Vera Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission, said the body was working on a report concerning each member state’s measures introduced against the epidemic. They have so far found “no reason to worry” about Hungary, Minister Varga told MTI, noting that the report is yet to be published.

Minister Varga said Hungary wants the debate to be based on facts and legal arguments, noting that the country has sent its own assessment of the member states’ actions to the commission. She said Hungary’s report contains a comparison of all member states’ actions and their constitutional background.

The minister said factual debate is especially important when it comes to arguments about the rule of law and rejected what she called “unfounded accusations from certain members” even before the report was published. Common values should not be used to foment division among member states, she said.

Minister Varga said Hungary believes in EU solidarity, both within and outside the bloc’s borders, adding that Hungary has sent protective gear to Western Balkan countries, which are hoping to become EU members. “Hungary believes in solidarity, true action, aid and rejects double standards, lecturing and politically motivated mud-slinging.”

The minister noted that the GAC meeting will be followed by an EU summit on Thursday. It is still unclear how EU institutions are planning to handle the long-term economic effects of the crisis, she said.

Minister Varga said Hungary accepts that the EU needs “desperate measures in desperate times,” but stands by maintaining fundamental EU values like solidarity, equal treatment and the rejection of double standards. The situation warrants a better European response rather than “more Europe”, she said.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu