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May 04, 2018

Hungary's FM: We must regard the linking of EU funding to the rule of law as fiction

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the laws and treaties that are in effect clearly set down the rights and obligations of member states, and they are the same for everyone

Hungary’s foreign minister has said that we must regard the linking of EU funding to the rule of law as fiction, as the introduction of subjective criteria would contravene the European treaties.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the laws and treaties that are in effect clearly set down the rights and obligations of member states, and they are the same for everyone.

“Hungary will not be supporting any proposal that would give anyone the potential to block funding that is due in accordance with the treaties,” he stressed.

The minster described how in the West, there have been several attempts to portray EU funding as something that is due to the countries of Central Europe “as some kind of favour” or as if they were humanitarian aid of some sort.

“This is not the case; Central Europe is entitled to these resources because it has opened up its own markets, on which Western enterprises have been able to pocket huge profits,” the minister said. “This is not a one-way street, everyone must fulfil their commitments,” he added.

He also indicated that the system of objective conditions for the distribution of resources is set down by law, and if someone wants to amend those laws then they should put forward their proposal and conduct the necessary legal proceedings.

The minister said that plans to introduce subjective criteria would create the capacity to blackmail member states, and that is at odds with the EU treaties.