The justice minister said the European Union’s proposal for a rule of law mechanism is “legal nonsense”.
Justice Minister Judit Varga told Magyar Nemzet that the EU’s proposal was unacceptable because the rule of law principle was enforced in different ways in different countries. It would be difficult to give a definition in legal terms of what constitutes a violation of the rule of law in general. Therefore, the EU’s proposal is “legal nonsense”, she said.
The Article 7 procedure exists to address rule of law problems and if the member states do not like this method then intergovernmental conferences could be held to try to “define what is impossible to define,” she said. Regardless of this, there exists an EU budget and proper regulations on how member states can spend the money, she said. It is not right to link academic dialogues about the rule of law to a practical matter concerning how much various countries should receive and how it could be spent, she added.
“Unfortunately, what we are seeing now is not a legal problem but a war of ideologies which originally had a legal form, in the framework of infringement procedures. These were followed by increasingly harsh European parliamentary procedures. And now emotions run wild and messages are being sent openly from Western Europe,” she said. “We are only protecting Hungary’s honour because they have turned against us when we had not hurt anyone,” she added.
The minister said Hungary needs not worry about losing EU resources as a result of the veto because once the multiannual financial framework is over, everybody is due one-twelfth of the previous year’s allocation each month. However, if a new seven-year programme is not approved, nobody can spend the money in line with the new plans and the resources must be used in line with the old directives, she added. This could thwart comprehensive European plans about environmental protection and research and development, she said. “That would be punishment not only to us but to the whole community,” Minister Varga said.
Photo credit: Magyar Nemzet