Gulyás: Hungary fulfilled EU requests on judiciary last year

Gergely Gulyás said the EC should have confirmed this within 60 days and handed over the money owed to the country.

In connection with EU conditions related to the country’s judiciary, Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said Hungary’s parliament had passed related legislation in the spring. Gulyás said the EC should have confirmed this within 60 days and handed over the money owed to the country, adding the commission “repeatedly broke their promises and delayed” handing over 10 billion euros until the day before the EU summit in December. 

As regards financing for Ukraine, he said: “Giving or promising money to Ukraine with a four-year timescale is unreasonable and anti-democratic.” Such financing should not be a part of the EU budget and it should not extend beyond a single year, he said. “And whatever the case, it should certainly not come from a joint EU loan,” he added. On the topic of the EU migration pact, he said Hungary would refuse to accept migrants against the will of the people. Whereas Brussels was “pro-migration”, he said, many EU member states emphasised the importance of protecting the external border, knowing that “quite a few terrorists” had managed to enter the bloc in 2015 due to a lack of inspections and lax border controls. Regarding planned government restructuring, Gulyás said regional public administration will be transferred to the new public administration and regional development ministry from the Prime Minister’s Office, and powers related to local governments will be handed over from the Interior Ministry. He added that regional public administration and local governments were closely linked to regional development and the new arrangement would enhance the efficacy of decision-making. Asked about ties between Hungary and the US, Gulyás said the current American administration was focused on the “ideological differences between the two governments” instead of seeking opportunities to cooperate. He added it was of telling symbolism that America had a double taxation treaty with Russia but not with Hungary. On the topic of the 2024 EP elections, he said it would be satisfactory to have 21 MEPs “representing Hungarian interests”. In the current cycle, however, “eight [Hungarian MEPs] … worked to condemn and penalise Hungary financially,” he added. Regarding the local elections also slated for 2024, Gulyás said he believed Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony was “beatable”, and confirmed that Fidesz would put forward its mayoral candidate by March at the latest.