Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister marks 10th anniversary of constitution

Hungary's fundamental law is "not just a document but a charter that establishes an alliance linking the past and future, spanning the history of our thousand-year-old statehood," Justice Minister Judit Varga said at an international conference marking the 10th anniversary of Hungary's constitution on Tuesday.

Addressing the conference Ten Years of Hungary’s Constitution – roots, values, and sovereignty, the minister said the values therein “must not be questioned in our globalist world”.

She said that is why it was important to take stock from time to time “and remind ourselves where we came from, and also set a course for where you want to get to”.

Concerning the creation of the fundamental law, Varga said that the post-1990 one had been intended as a temporary document. It had been drawn up “in line with political deals and merely contained a summary of rights …” It lacked cohesion or a moral dimension guaranteeing society’s operability, she added.

The new constitution was also intended as a reference for the whole community as a document “defining national identity, world view, and sovereignty”, Varga said. “We believe that our national culture is a rich contribution to the diversity in a united Europe.”

“Nowadays there are two conflicting forces in Europe, strong nation states on one side and a federalist endeavour on the other; a united nations of Europe,” she said. Proponents of the latter, she insisted, were using “ideological pressure” under the label “rule of law”. “Anyone that says no to illegal migration or defends their sovereignty face ruthless attacks,” she said.

The constitution stipulates that Hungary’s European Union membership “cannot restrict the country’s inalienable right to self-determination concerning its territorial integrity, population, or its form of state and government,” Varga said. “We believe in the motto of the European Union — Unity in Diversity,” she said, adding that that principle was not compatible with “homogeneity” required by certain forces within the EU.

“We believe in a policy that can question mainstream thinking,” she said. Demographic challenges, she added, should not be resolved through immigration, “which is not just an economic aspect but an issue of national identity, too”.

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