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May 13, 2020

EP excludes government from debate on Hungary's rule of law

Justice Minister Judit Varga has said 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.

 

Justice Minister Judit Varga has said 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".

Minister Varga told MTI that the EP will debate whether Hungary’s law on combatting the coronavirus epidemic lives up to democratic standards on Wednesday.

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. The “leftist liberal majority” of the EP is “about to judge Hungary while ignoring the basic principles of due process,” Minister 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 added.

Over the past few weeks, Hungary has suffered “unfounded political attacks on an unprecedented scale,” Minister Varga said, despite EC Vice-President Věra Jourová’s statement that the Hungarian law was not against European law. Nonetheless, the EP “wishes to discuss Hungary instead of concentrating on aiding member states’ efforts to combat the coronavirus,” she said. Minister Varga said she spoke with Jourová on Tuesday and will send a response to Sassoli.