Here's my response Tagesspiegel refused to publish

A Tagesspiegel editor got several facts terribly wrong in his article, so I submitted a right of reply the same day. A week has passed since and Tagesspiegel still wouldn't publish my response. Read it below:

Dear Mr Krohn,

In your article entitled "Croatia joins Schengen area: No more traffic jams for vacationers and the Euro is coming", published on December 8 on Tagesspiegel.de, you have made several questionable claims, but one stood out particularly as simply false.

"However, Hungary had also positioned itself against the expansion of the Schengen area. But this was not a surprise for all involved. From negotiating circles, it is said that Hungary is blocking everything at the moment." you wrote.

Let me be a bit blunt here: that’s simply false. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced on Facebook that it was Austria and the Netherlands that blocked Romania and Bulgaria from joining the Schengen Area.

I would kindly advise you to double-check your sources next time.

In FM Szijjártó’s view, and that’s the official Hungarian position on the topic, both countries would have deserved to finally become part of Schengen, as they have been protecting their borders and, unlike several Schengen Area members, have done a lot to curb illegal migration. It is therefore simply not true that we would have “positioned ourselves” against the admission of Romania and Bulgaria.

There is, however, another interesting aspect to this question. It increasingly seems like casting veto over EU decisions that require unanimity is turning into the exclusive right of member states with mainstream, left-liberal governments.

I wonder: Where are those who are constantly so concerned for the unity of the EU? Or the MEPs who want to abolish unanimous decision-making? Where are the whining journalists of the liberal mainstream, where are Brussels bureaucrats? Where are the ministers of liberal governments?


Meanwhile, if Hungary dares say ‘no’ to taking out joint loans and transforming the EU into a debt community and introducing a global minimum tax that is 6 percent higher than what companies in Hungary currently pay, then we’re immediately labeled as ‘devils’ and ‘black sheep’ of Europe.

Once again, the liberal mainstream has exposed its immense hypocrisy: But when Western European governments veto, they are exercising their rights, or, in the case of your newspaper, the blame is inaccurately put on a country like Hungary.


Zoltán Kovács

International Spokesman, Hungary's State Secretary for International Communication and Relations and Government Commissioner for the 2024 Hungarian EU Presidency