János Bóka, the minister for EU affairs, said on Facebook that rather than being driven by rational decisions, the European Union’s enlargement process is becoming increasingly politicized.
While it had been long seen as objective and merit-based, the procedure’s values and seriousness “are now becoming questionable”, he said. “Should a candidate for membership realize they do not have to fulfil conditions and go through a pre-determined procedure, the entire procedure may turn into politically motivated power demonstrations,” he warned. That may lead to candidates seeking “political protectors” inside or outside the EU and use their power to influence the accession procedure. The speed of integration would then depend on the size and strength of the protectors rather than the conditions fulfilled, Bóka said. “Such practices would further rock the already cracked foundations of the European Union’s unity.” Regarding Ukraine’s EU membership, Bóka said it remained uncertain if or when the talks on it would start. “We are at the start of a process containing 75-80 points requiring a unanimous vote from member states. Then, the accepted accession talks will have to be ratified by the parliament of each individual member state,” he said. “The financing of Ukraine is a similarly complicated issue … the situation is changing almost day by day due to the war. Consequently, it is impossible to make responsible statements on its financial needs in the coming four years,” he said. “To ensure the necessary support for Ukraine, Hungary is promoting an inter-governmental fund to be set up outside of the EU’s budgetary framework. The member states would be free to make contributions as they see fit. Until the fund is set up, support can be ensured from the current budget … there would be no need to amend the seven-year financial framework,” he said.