Hungary will not change its position that mass migration is a negative phenomenon which must be stopped at the external borders of the European Union despite any political pressure or the institution of any infringement procedure, Szabolcs Takács pointed out in Brussels.
The Minister of State for the development and coordination of EU policies at the Prime Minister’s Office said the meeting of the ministers of EU Member States responsible for general affairs focused, inter alia, on the debate regarding the state of the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, as part of which they also spoke about the procedure instituted against Hungary under Article Seven of the EU Treaties.
After the meeting, speaking to Hungarian journalists the Minister of State stressed that there is a political debate in the European Union whose main topics are migration and immigration, and Hungary is in the cross hairs of that debate.
The Brussels pro-immigration elite is attacking Hungary because the Hungarian people have decided that they do not want their country to be turned into an immigrant country. It is also clear that they are politically attacking those Member States which have decided to leave the UN’s migration compact and no longer take part in the relevant negotiations, he underlined.
He said that during the debate on the general annual dialogue exploring the state of the rule of law and trust in public institutions, he stressed that trust rests on the foundations, both at national and EU levels, that citizens must always be involved in the adoption of decisions. While in Hungary trust in the European Union is above the EU average, their trust in EU institutions is significantly impaired by the fact that untrue claims are being made in the European Parliament regarding Hungary, he highlighted.
He added that it also enhances trust in public institutions that Hungary’s economic output is improving significantly, and it managed to reduce the sovereign debt and the deficit of the budget already in 2010.
Mr Takács said regarding the seven-year EU budget for the period after 2020 that while in the next budget the European Commission aims to increase institutional bureaucracy, Hungary has decided to downsize its governmental bureaucracy, and is adopting measures for the modernisation of public administration on an ongoing basis.
It gives rise to concern from a Hungarian and Central European point of view that the European Commission’s proposal “undoubtedly serves the body’s political ambitions, placing those ambitions before the interests of the European people”, he underlined.
“While we are only at the initial stages of negotiations, we must ensure that every Member State’s position is adequately reflected”, he said.
Hungary takes the view that the framework of the negotiations is not balanced: it takes the concepts of net contributor countries into consideration more emphatically, and should therefore be altered significantly, the Minister of State said.
“We believe it is also unacceptable and unjustifiable that the European Commission would regroup funds, which are supposed to promote cohesion, from Europe’s poorer regions to the richer ones. This concept is clearly contrary to the EU Treaties, and undermines the interests of the single market and the entire European Union. Hungary is unable to support a multiannual financial framework which rests on such foundations, Mr Takács added.
According to the information of the European Parliament, at a separate meeting – which was held before the council meeting and was convened by the Austrian Presidency, but which cannot be regarded as part of the council – Green MEP Judith Sargentini and Claude Moraes, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) called upon the representatives of Member States responsible for EU affairs to determine whether Hungary is at threat as regards the violation of EU values.
Judith Sargentini who attended the meeting pointed out that the adoption of the report is a clear sign that a distinct line must be drawn when the common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights are violated in a Member State.
“It is now to the Member States to act in a swift, open and effective manner”, she said.
The MEP said it gives rise to concern that there have been further developments in Hungary since the adoption of the report. For instance, a recently passed new law further violates the independence of the Hungarian judiciary, she observed. Ms. Sargentini added that she asked the Member States to convene a formal council meeting to discuss the issue of the rule of law in Hungary.
In his speech, Claude Moraes underlined that the Monday preparatory meeting held with the attendance of the representatives of Member States cannot under any circumstances be regarded as an official council meeting, and expressed hope that a formal meeting will also be held concerning the issue of Hungary.
In September the European Parliament adopted the Sargentini report on the state of the rule of law in Hungary, on the basis of which they instituted the procedure under Article Seven of the EU Treaties.
The document criticised the state of the rule of law in Hungary, including, among others, the functioning of the constitutional and election systems, the independence of the judiciary, corruption, freedom of opinion and academic freedom.
(MTI/Prime Minister's Office)