PM Orbán: Hungary cannot support extension of von der Leyen's mandate

The prime minister said Von der Leyen had used the rule of law as a party political tool against Hungary.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Brussels on Thursday that Hungary cannot support the extension of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's mandate.
In an interview ahead of a two-day European Council summit, PM Orbán said Von der Leyen had used the rule of law as a party political tool against Hungary. PM Orbán said a newly elected Polish government had implemented changes “that were at least questionable. “When I asked in a letter whether we Hungarians could do what the new Polish government did in Poland, they didn’t even deign to answer. We do not think the president of such a Commission should stay in place.” He said the European People’s Party (EPP), the Socialists and the Liberals had formed a “coalition” to name the new leaders of European Union institutions. “That is a party coalition of lies and deception,” he said. PM Orbán called the agreement “shameful”, and said it had been set up based on party affiliations, without regard to the “bad performance of the past five years” or plans for the future. The EPP “has collected some of the right-wing votes and shifted them to the left,” PM Orbán said. “This is impertinence in the face of European voters,” he said. “We have no reason to support this abuse of power.”
The prime minister also said, regarding country-specific recommendations to Hungary in EU reports, that “we take those as compliments.” Those are important tools of Hungarian economic policy and contribute to Hungarian growth’s far outstripping the EU average, he added. “That’s where Hungarian success comes from. They want to take that success away, but we shall not give it away,” he said. Asked about Hungary’s EU presidency starting on Monday, PM Orbán said its main focus areas were competitiveness and economic growth. Besides those issues, “which are supported by everyone,” Hungary also seeks to promote peace and stop illegal migration, he added. “Large countries are backing 95% of our programmes,” he added.