Justice Minister: EC's new rule-of-law report should not be used for ideological purposes

The justice minister said the states’ sovereignty and the treaties of the European Union must be respected.

Justice Minister Judit Varga said the European Commission’s new rule-of-law report to be issued today should not be used for ideological purposes and for blackmailing the member states. The minister added that the states’ sovereignty and the treaties of the European Union must be respected.

According to MTI, the minister called the EC’s decision to draft such a report “arbitrary”, noting that it had not dealt with national minorities and the fight against anti-Semitism this year. Minister Varga called the methodology applied by the EC “questionable”, adding that the scope of background institutions and NGOs that contributed to the report with what the EC considers “authentic information” is also challengeable.
Hungary insists that the European Commission had not been authorised by the EU treaties to compile such reports, the minister told Hungarian reporters.

Minister Varga said it was “regrettable” that the political statements on Hungary’s law on child protection had appeared before opinion-shapers had read the very text of the law. The minister said the European Commission had used the rule-of-law tool to blackmail the Hungarian government when it assessed Hungary’s plan of accessing EU funds for post-pandemic economic recovery.

In regards to the planned conferences on Europe’s future, Minister Varga said that the series should be based on “true popular sovereignty”, with the opinions of democratic, natural communities presented to decision makers. Preparing with a seven-point plan of action for the debates, Hungary will take a stand against extending the powers of certain European institutions, and efforts to build a so-called super-state, the minister said.

Minister Varga said European integration should be a tool, not a purpose in itself, and decisions should be made by elected leaders rather than outsourced to civil organizations. The minister stressed the need for Europe to prepare for “a period of dangerous challenges”, including migration and the pandemic. The countries waiting for EU accession should also be invited to the series of conferences, she added.