Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice Minister: EP may look forward to new era with right-wing majority

Justice Minister Judit Varga in an interview said the European Parliament may look forward to a new era with a right-wing majority in the next cycle.
24. April 2023 7:27

In an interview published in Italian daily Libero on Sunday, Varga discussed Hungary’s child protection law, Italy-Hungary relations, migration, and ties with Russia.

Varga said Italy’s government was alone in understanding Hungary’s “solid arguments” in the legal dispute over the child protection law, noting that Italy had not joined 15 EU member states in the European Commission’s lawsuit against Hungary.

The law falls in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, stating that parents and families have the right to decide on the upbringing of their children based on their own beliefs, so the law did not fall foul of European legislation, she argued.

Varga said the lawsuit was politically and ideologically motivated, adding that “the gender lobby is present in many countries”. The law, she added, was backed by broad social support in Hungary.

Addressing relations with Italy, Varga said ties with Giorgia Meloni had been good even before she became prime minister, with common agreement on strategic issues such as immigration policy and the protection of families. Meloni should “stay strong” so Italy and Hungary can cooperate in the European Council “to protect conservative values”, she added.

The minister said Russian ties were a “pragmatic issue”, and Hungary’s energy needs were such that the country “must do business with Moscow”. She said Hungary’s conservative government had done “everything to establish connections” with neighboring countries, but the main source of gas was from Russia.

She said Hungry had no plans to “change our dependence on Russia to dependence on the United States”.

Varga added, however, that Hungary “is a partner of the United States, a member of NATO and the EU, and wishes to remain so…”

The minister noted that Hungary had condemned Russian aggression from the start and supported Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. Hungary was also among the first to propose Ukraine’s EU membership, she added.

Addressing migration, she said that whereas Hungary was in agreement with President Sergio Mattarella that the Dublin Treaty was outdated, bringing in a redistribution mechanism would be tantamount to an invitation to enter the EU, so Hungary will not change its position that the cause rather than the consequences of migration must be dealt with. Instead of importing the problem to Europe, the solution must be handled at the source of the problem, she said.

Put to her that Fidesz is not a member of any EP group, Varga said: “We’re in the land of the strong and we are happy.” She said Fidesz was a member of “the great community of the continental right”, which was growing in strength, and it should believe in its ability to defeat the left and win a majority in next year’s European elections.

Varga said progressives, socialists and left-wing liberals had failed to provide answers to “the real needs of European citizens”, and “a new era” was on the cards, with a fresh European Commission no longer in thrall to NGOs and bureaucrats hijacking democratic processes.

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