Budapest says EU must avoid rule of law divisions in wartime

Budapest, in the hot seat when it comes to respect for the rule of law, said on Tuesday, April 12, that the European Union must avoid becoming divided on this issue while a war is raging on its doorstep.

In these very difficult times we must show solidarityHungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said before a meeting in Luxembourg. †We must focus on the issues that unite us rather than those that divide usadded the minister of this country bordering Ukraine, which has seen a large influx of refugees.

European concernsnot shared

She also emphasized the win”overwhelming“won by nationalist leader Viktor Orban, close to Vladimir Putin, in the April 3 parliamentary elections, and assures voters that”don’t share the worriesof the EU. These concerns, contained in the European Commission’s latest report on the rule of law in Hungary, relate to a deterioration in media pluralism, but also to an inadequate fight against corruption.

“We need to focus on the issues that unite us rather than those that divide us”

Judit Varga, Hungarian Minister of Justice.

For the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, on the other hand, the Russian invasion of Ukraine underlines the “have to be very careful to respect the rule of law and rules within the EUEU affairs ministers will discuss Hungary and four other Member States’ adherence to democratic requirements as part of a regular review of the situation in EU countries.

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EU proceedings against Hungary

The problems identified in Hungary in terms of public procurement, conflicts of interest and corruption also prompted the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to announce the launch on 5 April of a procedure that could lead to the suspension of payment of European funds to Budapest. According to a European source, the official letter will be sent to the Hungarian government at the end of April.

We need to see the letter first, analyze it in detail” and “we will answer it‘ said Judit Varga. The mechanism of “conditionalityis a procedure that has been in place since January 2021 but has never been used, which allows the payment of European funds to be suspended to a country where violations of the rule of law affecting EU finances are found.

Its implementation is expected to take six to nine months and the final decision should be taken by a qualified majority of at least 15 of the 27 Member States, representing 65% of the EU population. Inadequate fight against corruption is also the reason for the Commission’s blocking of the Hungarian recovery plan, worth €7.2 billion in European subsidies.

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