Balázs Hidvéghi, an MEP of ruling Fidesz, told public radio that the European Parliament resolution declaring Hungary unfit to hold the European Union’s rotating presidency “is absurd”, adding that it was “yet another attempt to blackmail and put pressure on Hungary”.
“The latest attack is all about Hungary not deserving any European Union funding, and [about how the country] is not worthy to take on the EU’s rotating presidency in 2024,” Hidvéghi said. The proposal submitted by MEPs from several party families, including Katalin Cseh of Momentum, will be discussed in the EP next Wednesday and a vote will be held on Thursday, he said, adding that it was being rushed through. He said Hungary was a “reliable and good partner” when it came to talks on accessing EU funds, but the EP “did not want an agreement to come about”. Hungary, he said, showed that “member states can do things” in a way that diverges from the Brussels consensus and that national, Christian Democratic politics “can succeed in a way that people understand and support”. Hidvéghi also said the European Union was gripped by “war psychosis”, and “everyone is talking about weapon deliveries and military involvement”. Hungary’s pro-peace stance, he added, had deepened the rift further. He said the institution of the rotating presidency was “a pillar of the EU”, and the EP had “no business deciding or even consulting” over which country served at the helm.
Meanwhile, the Fidesz MEP said that the EU was discussing energy policy plans that would force Hungary to abandon its policy which guaranteed some of the “cheapest utility costs in the EU”. He called the plan “utterly illogical”. The EU proposals in response to the war, he said, sacrificed European interests, resulting in skyrocketing energy prices. At the same time, it was “impossible to see” how the sanctions were weakening Russia, he added. Hungary’s government has declared its commitment to protecting its utility price caps, he said. “We will not give in to EU proposals,” he said. Hidvéghi said the EU should work to allow Hungary access to the funds “it is entitled to”. Its policies should also prioritise Europeans rather than other countries and considerations, he added. The ruling party MEP said dissatisfaction in the EU had been widespread lately, and demonstrations against high utility prices were an example of this. An increasing number of countries “will probably return to normality and realistic decision-making”, and treat energy security as the priority it is, Hidvéghi added.