Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister discusses rule of law, democracy in Stockholm

Issues around the rule of law and democracy were high on the agenda at a meeting of the justice ministers of Sweden, Hungary, Belgium, and Spain and EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders in Stockholm on Wednesday, Judit Varga, the Hungarian justice minister, said on Facebook.

Participants in the meeting established four goals to “sort out the hopelessly entangled disputes around the rule of law”, she said, adding that clear standards were needed to help the EU become a community of values, to be elaborated by member states. She also added that such standards needed to be established for the EU’s institutions.

She also said a “strict methodology” was needed to identify violations of the rule of law and to ensure that measures were taken when necessary and in a proportionate manner. Rather than “hysterics and witch hunts in the media”, objective procedures are needed, she said.

Varga warned that rule of law mechanisms did not work unless “institutions and member states consider those mechanisms that they were designed for and in cooperation with them . otherwise they will create divisions and mutual distrust.” “The culture of consensus needs to be rediscovered,” she added.

Hungary will work hard to maintain and reinforce the EU’s fundamental values, such as the rule of law, during its EU presidency in the second half of next year, Varga said.

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