The European Commission's building in Brussels – Photo: wikipedia

Justice minister: Commitment to judicial reforms ‘huge step’ towards unlocking cohesion funds

By committing to judicial reforms Hungary has taken a "huge step" towards unlocking cohesion funding as quickly as possible, Justice Minister Judit Varga said in Brussels on Friday.

Talks between Hungary and the European Commission on the package of judicial reforms are focused on a narrow set of political issues and are now “in the home stretch”, Varga told MTI after a meeting of European Union interior and justice ministers.

The Hungarian government has been conducting “constructive and intensive” negotiations with the EC since last July with a view to ensuring that Hungarians are given access to the EU monies they are entitled to, the minister said.

She said the package of judicial reforms agreed on between Hungary and the EU last December will soon be submitted to parliament, with the government having consulted all stakeholders.

Varga said she had discussed the judicial reforms with European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders on Friday, adding they had agreed that the package would soon be finalised.

Concerning the infringement procedure launched over Hungary’s child protection law, Varga said Hungary’s recent counter-appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union argued that according to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights it is the exclusive right of parents to decide on their children’s upbringing.

The minister said the EC’s infringement procedure was “ideologically driven” and “a product of opposition lobbying”.

The Hungarian government will use every legal tool at its disposal to protect the will expressed by the Hungarian people in last year’s referendum on child protection, she said.

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