The European Commission’s decision to activate the rule-of-law mechanism against Hungary serves to put pressure on and penalise its government for “daring to envision a conservative nation in Europe,” Andor Deli, an MEP of ruling Fidesz, said on Thursday.
Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for Budget and Administration, sent a notification letter to Hungary on Wednesday, activating the mechanism linking European Union funding to the rule of law. Vice-President Vera Jourova said in a tweet that the Commission had “identified issues that might be breaching [the rule of law] in HU and affect the EU budget.”
Deli told Hungarian journalists in Brussels that the mechanism “is difficult to understand from a legal or practical point of view”.
European Union institutions “are talking about taking away money Hungary has yet to receive,”
Weakening Hungary would enfeeble the EU itself, which draws its strength from that of its member states, Deli said. Undermining Hungary also undermines European unity, he added.
The European Parliament’s Committee Economic and Monetary Affairs on Thursday held a closed meeting with the Committee on Budgets and EC members to discuss implementation of the decree on the rule-of-law conditionality. In his address, Deli said the mechanism had been activated because “even in this situation riddled with economic difficulties and war, there are some who want to weaken the strength and unity of Europe.”
The fact that the funds being withdrawn from Hungary are yet to be paid “illustrates the absurdity of the whole procedure,”
At the same time, the Hungarian government remains open to further talks in the hope of finding solutions to the EU’s concerns, he said. “Hungary will, however, not budge on two issues: we will stay out of the war and protect our children,” he said.