Bence Tuzson - Photo: Facebook

Tuzson: Hungary has complied with EU judicial reform demands, expects funding

Hungary has complied with all European Commission demands related to judicial reform and awaits the arrival of EU funds, Bence Tuzson, the justice minister, told journalists during the break of a meeting of EU justice ministers on Monday.

He said Hungary now considered EU discussions on judicial reform “to be closed”.

“We’ve replied to all questions and acceded to all requests connected to the release of EU funds,” he said. “Now we’ll see what the commission decides … and we await the arrival of EU funds…” he added.

Hungary, he said, only met requests that did not conflict with its interests. From this point on, he added, there were no further questions or requests of Hungary that it had not fulfilled “100 percent”.

Hungary’s top priority, he said, was to protect its sovereignty, and from a judicial point of view, ensure its competitiveness, and he also referred to European GDPR rules, saying they should be assessed to see whether they overburdened small and medium-sized enterprises and whether these burdens could be reduced. It was important, Tuzson said, that Europe should not be put at a competitive disadvantage to the US or China.

Both Hungary and the EU are put at a disadvantage if big tech companies “know more about people than a country knows about its own citizens”, he said.

He said cooperation between Hungary and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office was “good” but who had investigative powers and who could order an investigation in Hungary was a matter of sovereignty, adding that Hungary would lose a significant sovereignty if it was stripped of this power.

Meanwhile, he said it was “regrettable” that most EU countries treated the matter of domestic security separately from illegal migration matters.

“We Hungarians are convinced that the two issues are connected,” he said, adding that there were clear signs of this already.

EU measures were not a solution to this problem, he said. “If it carries on like this and the EU fails to find an effective solution to these issues, instead dealing with pseudo issues such as the rule of law, the functioning of the EU will be compromised in the long term,” Tuzson said.

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