13 Mar

By undertaking judicial reforms, Hungary has taken a huge step towards ensuring that the Hungarian people get access to the majority of cohesion funds as soon as possible, Justice Minister Judit Varga said in Brussels on Friday.

The politician was speaking to MTI after a meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers. She said that the dialogue between the European Commission and Hungary on the judicial package focuses on a very narrow range of political issues, and that the negotiations are practically in their "final stage." The minister said that intensive and constructive talks had been taking place between the Hungarian government and the European Commission since last July in order to ensure that the Hungarian people receive the EU funds which they are entitled to. "I could describe these negotiations with a sports example: we have entered a 100-metre flat race, but every day it turns out that we have to run a 110-metre hurdles. Hungary has a sporting history, so we can easily adapt to this, and of course, in order to give Hungarians access to the EU funds that are rightfully theirs, the Hungarian government is running the 110-metre hurdles every day.

She said that the judicial package was a central element of the December agreement with the EU, and the Hungarian government has made it a priority. "The Hungarian government has always delivered on all its commitments. We have done the same with the judicial package, which will soon be submitted to Parliament, and we have held all social and professional consultations and debates, including with special stakeholders at the request of the Commission. In practice, we have taken into account the views of both the professional and civil society when drafting the package," she stressed.

She also said that on Friday she had held a meeting with EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, with whom it was agreed that the package would be finalised soon, with the Commission's staff now only carrying out a technical and professional analysis of the judicial package. On the infringement procedures over the Child Protection Act, the minister of justice said that "in our counterclaim against the EU court's judgment, we argue that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states that the determination of the upbringing of children in accordance with national law must be the exclusive right of the parent, who may otherwise determine the upbringing of his or her child on the basis of his or her own educational, religious or other philosophical convictions," she pointed out. In her view, the Commission's action is ideologically driven and clearly the product of an opposition lobby. "However, the Hungarian government will use its legal instruments to the fullest extent to defend the position of the Hungarian people and the will expressed by nearly 3.7 million people in the referendum," said Justice Minister Judit Varga.

Judit Varga stressed that "from the very beginning, the dollar left has done everything possible to put as many obstacles as possible in the way of negotiations to prevent the Hungarian people from accessing the funds in question." In her opinion, "the dollar left is serving foreign interests, not the interests of the Hungarian people, and the liberal media, influenced by foreign-funded NGOs, is also constantly trying to spread scare stories as if the negotiations are stalled or have been derailed." "This is not the case at all," she stressed.

Source: MTI - Hungarian News Agency