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Dec 03, 2020

EU countries most in need of relief from coronavirus crisis should be given financial aid ASAP

Justice Minister Judit Varga said it was up to the EU’s German presidency to find a solution to the impasse in the debate on linking rule of law conditions to the payment of EU funds.

 

The justice minister has said European Union countries most in need of relief from the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis should be given financial aid as quickly as possible and ideological issues being linked to the bloc’s recovery package should be discussed later.

Justice Minister Judit Varga, who on Sunday became the first Hungarian to receive the institute’s Custos Virtutum award, told an online discussion hosted by the Wacław Felczak Polish-Hungarian Cooperation Institute that it was up to the EU’s German presidency to find a solution to the impasse in the debate on linking rule of law conditions to the payment of EU funds.

“We should be open to every proposal but the ones that need to get Europe out of the current difficult situation are those who got it there,” the minister said. She said this was neither Poland nor Hungary, arguing that the two countries had been saying for years that “values shouldn’t be conflated with political blackmail and economic matters shouldn’t be conflated with ideological games”.

The minister said Hungary believes that member states in real trouble should be given financial aid as quickly as possible. “And if we have ideological disagreements, these should be debated later at other forums, on the basis of unanimity, among our governments,” she added. Minister Varga said she saw the essence of the budget debate in the EU becoming “exclusionary”. “It doesn’t tolerate a diversity of opinion,” the minister said. She said the EU currently had no means to put pressure on countries “who refuse to fall in line”, say no to migration, support family policy and envision a Christian European future for the bloc. “They had to accept that we’re different,” Minister Varga added.