The European Commission has formally notified Hungary that it is activating the mechanism in the European Union budget, which links EU funding to the rule of law, against the country, EC President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.
The EC has given Hungary the opportunity to answer its questions on the issue of the rule of law, Von der Leyen told MEPs in response to a question on the state of the rule of law in Hungary and Poland. The commission has assessed Hungary’s answers “and our conclusion is we have to move on the next step”, she said.
The ruling of the European Court of Justice rejecting actions brought against the rule of law conditionality by Hungary and Poland “fully confirmed the approach followed by the commission”, Von der Leyen said.
Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, on Tuesday said Brussels was making a mistake “by dancing to the Hungarian left-wing’s whistle”, in response to the European Commission’s announcement on activating the rule-of-law conditionality against the country.
EC President Ursula von der Leyen said in Strasbourg earlier on Tuesday that the EC has sent a notification to Hungary as the first step in activating the mechanism which links the payment of EU funds to the state of the rule of law.
In response to the announcement, Gulyás said that the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat (KDNP) alliance garnered nearly 2.9 million votes in Sunday’s general election.
Some 3.3 million people expressed agreement with the government’s stance on child protection in the referendum held simultaneously, Gulyás told MTI.
Gulyás said that the turnout shows “unprecedented support” for the ruling parties and for the amendment to Hungary’s child protection law, which the European Union has called discriminatory against the LGBTQ community.
“Rather than complying with the requests of the Hungarian left-wing, which just suffered a defeat, the EC should return to common sense and dialogue,”
he said. The Hungarian government has always been open to the latter, he said.
He called on Brussels “not to punish Hungarian voters” for expressing choices “that Brussels does not like”.