'Our Finnish friends still have a lot to learn about integrity' – Hungarian State Secretary for Bilateral Relations

April 06. 2023. – 09:23 AM



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"Our Finnish friends still have a lot to learn about integrity. Begging until you get what you want, and then immediately turning your back – that's not what decent people do, and this isn't a reflection on us, but on them."

- Tamás Menczer, Minister of State for Bilateral Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told M1 TV station on Wednesday. He was speaking on the subject of Finland having joined the European Commission's case against Hungary's child protection law in the European Court of Justice after Hungary voted in favour of Finland's accession to NATO.

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Last December, the European Commission filed an action for failure to fulfil obligations with the European Court of Justice over Hungary's anti-gay child protection law. The European Court of Justice has already annulled several Hungarian laws, including the so-called lex CEU and the Stop Soros laws, but such a decision is always preceded by a lengthy legal process. So even if the Hungarian Parliament does not withdraw the anti-gay amendment, it could be years before the outcome of the case is known. In addition, Justice Minister Judit Varga has lodged a challenge with the European Court of Justice, arguing that "education is a national competence and it is the right of parents to decide on the education of their children."

According to Tamás Menczer, the Hungarian position in the case of both Finland and Sweden is that they want to continue building bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect. He said that Hungarian children will be protected, no matter how many people join the lawsuit.

The debate on the Swedish accession to NATO is still ongoing, and the state secretary said that Hungary still expects Sweden to make some reassuring statements and gestures about their desire to cooperate with us "on the basis of mutual respect within the allied system".

The State Secretary also spoke about Ukraine's integration, and said:

Hungary will not support Ukraine's integration towards either the European Union or NATO until the rights of the Hungarian national minority, which used to be granted and were then taken away, are restored. According to Tamás Menczer, Hungary is blocking Ukraine's integration into the EU and NATO because since 2015 the previously existing rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine have been continuously taken away.

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