Justice Minister Judit Varga slammed Tuesday’s hearing of Article 7 proceedings against Hungary, saying it had become clear that the proceedings were “being controlled from the outside” and that certain interest groups were trying to create mistrust among European Union member states.
Speaking to Hungarian reporters after the second hearing on the state of the rule of law in Hungary in the European Union’s General Affairs Council, Varga said the EU had been divided up into “good and bad member states”.
“And certain forces are looking to punish the countries that say no to the European mainstream position,” she added.
Varga said it had become clear that if the EU were truly concerned about the state of the rule of law in Hungary, the proceedings could have been closed a long time ago, arguing that the Hungarian delegation had provided extensive answers to all of the commission’s questions.
She also said the number of participants at the hearing indicated that interest in the “politically-motivated” proceedings was waning.
Varga said she had recommended at the hearing that the EU should take another look at a proposal submitted by Belgium and Germany under which concerns about the state of the rule of law in another member state would be addressed through intergovernmental dialogue.
“Hungary rejects the didactic tone of these meetings,” she said. All proceedings must be a debate based on mutual respect among member states, the minister added.
László Palkovics, the minister of innovation and technology, told the same press conference that the council had no interest in hearing about Hungary’s higher education sector or the country’s research activities.
Palkovics said that
those who had earlier expressed concern over the state of academic freedom in Hungary were no longer asking questions about the issue, because they were now satisfied that it was not under any threat.
Zoltán Kovács, the state secretary of international communications and relations at the Prime Minister’s Office, said it had become clear during the meeting that “[US financier] George Soros’s people are also there in the new European Commission” under the leadership of European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.
He said participants in the “completely pointless” hearing “had no interest in hearing the facts or about how Hungary’s government was run”.
The state secretary added that EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders had made it clear during the hearing that the commission had no intention of ending the “never ending” procedure.
He said the commission, certain member states and current European Union president Finland were trying to hold Hungary to a standard “that doesn’t exist anywhere in Europe”. Since expectations towards Hungary are constantly changing, he said, “it is impossible to conduct any sensible dialogue.”