Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister: ‘Rule-of-law reports have no legal grounds’

The European Commission's rule-of-law reports have no legal footing, Justice Minister Judit Varga said after talks with European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders in Budapest on Thursday.

In addition to outlining the Hungarian government’s position, she told a press conference that Hungary would always engage with the EC in diplomatic and legal dialogue.

Varga noted that in the General Affairs Council both the Polish and the Hungarian government had vetoed the decision on drafting rule-of-law reports, citing the absence of legal grounding for such a procedure.

Given the lack of a legal basis, it follows no action can be taken from the reports, she added.

Varga told the commissioner that the report in question regarding Hungary was based on the opinion of civil organisations that are critical of the government and biased against it, and this amounted to “the most drastic example for double standards”.

Concerning the law on child protection, Varga said that in Hungary the right to determine how a child is raised would continue to be in the hands of parents, and related legislation was the business of member states.

Concerning migration, the minister said the Hungarian government, since 2015, had represented its standpoint consistently, and its position was increasingly shared in Europe.

Varga insisted that the European Union should have reimbursed Hungary for the cost of building the fence along its southern border. Further, it should suspend infringement procedures launched against Hungary, she said, adding that the measures were designed to protect not only the Hungarian border but Europe’s external border from illegal migration, she said.

Varga said the “double standards shouting” from the rule-of-law reports had broken the mutual and sensitive confidence that kept the EU together and encouraged its member states to cooperate.

Leave a Reply