Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice Minister: EP’s left-wing majority dislikes Hungary’s pro-peace position

The European Parliament wants to prevent Hungary from fulfilling the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2024 because the left-wing majority in the EP "dislikes Hungary's pro-peace position", Justice Minister Judit Varga said in Brussels on Tuesday.

Varga told Hungarian journalists ahead of a meeting of European Union affairs ministers that the EP initiative to prevent Hungary from fulfilling the council presidency only showed the body’s frustration. One of the priorities of Hungary’s presidency will be to check the functioning of the rule-of-law principles in the EP’s operations, she added.

Hungary, she said, intends to monitor whether the “scandal-ridden EP” complied with its own rules and EU laws, and whether it served the interests of European democracy and citizens or its own power interests.

“The EP respects neither democracy nor the rule of law, as it wants to introduce an initiative this week which clearly goes against the EU treaties,” she said.

Varga called Tuesday’s hearing related to the Article 7 procedure against Hungary to assess the country’s compliance with the rule of law “a sick, tired procedure” which had been held under political pressure.

The minister said Hungary’s stance on immigration had been the initial cause of EP objections, before the government’s protection of families became the source of ire in Brussels. Now, she added, it was the government’s pro-peace stance, supported by the Hungarian people, that the left-wing EP majority rejected.

Varga said the Article 7 procedure was unrelated to the Council of the EU presidency.

She said the EP had not been “dealt any cards” to decide which country fulfils the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

She added that the EP, which “always wants to become part of the problem instead of the solution”, must know its place, and rather than attack the democratically elected government and voters of a country, MEPs should serve the needs of their own constituents.

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