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Apr 14, 2016

The EU should stay out of the internal affairs of the member states

In an interview with the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, Hungary’s Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said that the European Union should not intervene in the internal affairs of member states but should exercise only those powers that are within its competence.

In Minister Trócsányi's opinion, the example of Hungary has shown that the EU wants to take control of areas that do not fall within its competence.

The Hungarian minister gave an interview to the centre-right Polish newspaper during his official visit to Krakow last week.

In the interview, published on Wednesday, April 13, the Minister – who was once a substitute member of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s expert body on constitutional law – said that he did not agree with several views that the body had previously expressed related to amendment of the Fundamental Law of Hungary. After several expert consultations, and as a result of an internal policy discussion, those amendments were partially modified in Hungary, because “we need to find a solution for issues related to our internal system, the judiciary, immigration policy and media.”

He stressed that there was no need for any external institution to resolve those internal policy issues, partly because, as experience has shown, there are always politicians who bring internal Hungarian conflicts to international fora. “Hungary’s experience has showed that no good comes from that,” he stressed.

Mr. Trócsányi was asked about the Rule of Law Framework, being applied for the first time in the history of the European Union with its introduction at the beginning of the year in relation to Poland. The hungarian minister said that the EU should have powers which fall within its scope of competence. In addition, Hungary’s case also showed that Brussels seeks to exercise control over certain areas, he added.

According to Minister Trócsányi, attention should be paid to the national specificities of EU countries, as was also the case in France following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November. “In Brussels nobody launches proceedings against Paris for the introduction of a state of emergency,” said the Hungarian minister, warning of the serious implications of EU bodies making any distinctions between old and new member states.

The minister considers it impossible that the European Council would withdraw Poland’s voting right as a result of the Rule of Law Framework. “Should that happen, I am afraid it would have a very negative impact on the future of the whole European Union,” he said.

In relation to the European Parliament vote on the status of the Polish Constitutional Court scheduled for Wednesday, the minister stated that “the Polish people can always rely on Hungarians.” He added that Hungary was very pleased to hear that, in support of Hungary, Poland would join the case brought to the European Court by the Hungarian government in relation to the mandatory migrant resettlement quota. Hungary has fundamental doubts as to “whether any state can be deprived of its right to decide who can cross its borders, because such a decision forms part of a state’s exercise of sovereignty.”

He expressed his view on the handling of the migration crisis in Europe, saying that the specificities, natural characteristics and history of each member state must be taken into account. The minister also stressed that Hungary wants to be part of resolving the crisis. Hungary has presented various proposals for solutions. The country is assisting the countries affected by the Middle East crisis, and it is also taking part in the effective protection of European countries on the borders of the continent.