The debate on the measures introduced in response to the epidemic in Hungary and their impact on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights began without Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Minister of Justive Judit Varga in the plenary session of the European Parliament.
In the end, the government did not have a say because of the rules, but the deputies were surprisingly prepared for current Hungarian affairs. According to Commission Vice-President Vera Jourová, the biggest concern is still that there is no time limit on the Authorization Act.
From a different perspective, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has slammed Thursday’s debate in the European Parliament on Hungary’s epidemic response law as a “witch hunt and a show trial” against the country.
“The verdict has been pre-written and not even the justice minister is allowed to deliver her address,” Gulyás told an online government press briefing.
He said it was “unprecedented” for the government of the member state in a debate not to be represented in the discussion while the country holding the European Union’s rotating presidency was represented by a state secretary.
“This is reminiscent of the darkest times,” Gulyás said, adding that “not even in communist show trials was the defendant denied the opportunity to state their case.”
The PM’s Office chief said such procedures only hurt the EU’s image and weakened confidence in the bloc’s institutions. “This procedure is intolerable and unacceptable,” Gulyás said. “It has nothing to do with the rule of law or the EU’s fundamental values.”