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Commissioner: CJEU decision serving to protect EU finances

A Wednesday ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has provided a new tool to protect the community's budget and to ensure that taxpayers' money goes where it is intended, Johannes Hahn, EU commissioner for budget and administration, told a plenary of the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the CJEU ruled that the regulation accepted by the European Parliament and Council on making EU funding conditional on adhering to principles of the rule of law was built on a sound legal footing, rejecting actions brought against the regulation by Hungary and Poland.

Hahn said the European Commission was analysing the ruling and would soon start implementing the regulation.

Balazs Hidveghi, MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, said the decision was “leading to a dead end” and insisted that it was a “historic mistake to use European cooperation to aggressively spread an ideology”. He suggested that the EU was “abusing its power to force each state into a leftist straightjacket”. He voiced regret that “a theoretically independent European court has become partner in building a federalist, centralist Europe”.

Hungary and Poland will “insist on a policy of common sense”, he said, adding that “we will protect our borders, we will protect our children, we will protect our way of life”, he said.

Katalin Cseh, MEP of opposition Momentum, said that while “the Hungarian government interprets the European court’s decision as Brussels’s punishment for the child protection law”, the ruling “in fact has nothing to do with the homophobic Hungarian law just as the latter does not have anything to do with child protection”. She added that the ruling was aimed against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s “toxic populist brand”.

Cseh raised concern about the European Commission’s “delaying” its guidelines on applying the rule of law mechanism, and called on the body to “immediately” start its application.

Jobbik MEP Marton Gyongyosi slammed the Hungarian government for “suggesting a connection between the LGBTI lobby and the Soros organisations” and voiced discontent over the EC’s “reluctance” to apply the regulation.

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