Judit Varga: EP vote on Hungarian presidency of EU Council completely unnecessary

June 01. 2023. – 04:20 PM



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According to Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi, it is a gross violation of the EU treaties in force that an EP resolution adopted today would "deprive" Hungary of the EU Council presidency due next year (the text questions whether Hungary could credibly lead the EU co-decision-making body representing the member states).

The vote proves that if there is a problem with the rule of law and corruption, it is here in Brussels and not in Budapest, the Fidesz MEP said, according to the Hungarian State News Agency, MTI. He said that Hungary was being attacked and condemned again and again in Brussels because of its pro-peace stance, adding that

the pressure on Hungary will continue and will intensify.

While there does not seem to be any legal method that the MEPs can use beyond the resolution, some practical tools have been put forward – read more about them here. Ultimately, it is up to member states to decide whether the Hungarian government can hold the presidency, and some countries have already expressed their concerns – we have more on that here.

Delbos-Corfield: the situation in Hungary has deteriorated further

Following the vote, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield said that "The European Parliament has once again unanimously expressed its serious concerns about the further deterioration of the rule of law in Hungary,". According to the EP's permanent rapporteur on Hungary, "it is time for the Council to ask whether a Member State under Article 7 procedure is capable of credibly holding" the EU Council Presidency. The MEP referred to the procedure against the Hungarian government, which has been ongoing since 2018 at the initiative of the EP, to enforce EU fundamental rights.

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield said that

"releasing the frozen funds at this point would give Fidesz a blank cheque to continue violating fundamental rights".

Among other things, the resolution with no legal consequences demands that the measures required to unblock the withheld funds should only be lifted once the measures have "proven effective in practice" and it has been confirmed that there is no backtracking once they have been adopted.

Varga: The vote was completely unnecessary

"Today's vote on the proposal condemning Hungary was completely unnecessary, as preparatory work is already well underway" for the Council Presidency

- Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote on Facebook. Varga tried to prove that few MEPs were interested in "the dramatics of the so-called parliamentary debate condemning Hungary" yesterday with a photo taken from the back of the chamber.

Ujhelyi: Another report card on the Fidesz government

"You can see it from the moon, Viktor!" MEP István Ujhelyi on Facebook. The politician, who quit his membership in MSZP last year, said that the European Parliament "has issued another report card for the Fidesz government and its desecration of European values" with a clear, unanimous majority.

President Novák: I trust that the question of taking away the EU Council Presidency from Hungary won't even arise among serious people

If the European Parliament, which claims to be the guardian of the rule of law, stays on the democratic path and doesn't step off it, then Hungary will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2024, Katalin Novák said. ATV interviewed the Hungarian head of state in Tirana around the time EU representatives in Brussels voted on a resolution on Hungary. The document "raises the question of how Hungary will be able to credibly" lead the Council in 2024.

Katalin Novák, who did not yet know the result of the vote, said that

she hoped that "no undemocratic decision that disregards the law" would be taken and that "there would be no question among serious people about Hungary being denied the EU presidency".

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