The ongoing attempt to link European Union funding to loosely defined rule of law criteria is a thinly veiled attack on countries like Hungary and Poland that embrace conservative positions on migration, multiculturalism and Christian values, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said in an interview with German daily newspaper Die Welt.
In the interview, Varga described Hungary as being treated like “a black sheep only because of its rejection of immigration” — with the immigration issue now of fundamental importance for an EU that increasingly embraces open borders orthodoxy and a liberal migration policy despite a wave of terror attacks and rising crime tied to uncontrolled mass migration.
“What they have already started with is the statement that they can impose financial sanctions on a member state if it does not fit into the ‘mainstream’ in areas such as migration policy, family policy or multicultural ideologies,” Varga said. “Our position in relation to the vague ‘conditionality’ of the ideological blackmail of Brussels is clear and unambiguous: we want to protect our Christian roots. We do not want a multicultural society. We want to keep marriage a bond between man and woman.”
Varga’s comments come after the European Council and European Parliament are preparing to take the unprecedented step of enacting a harsh sanction mechanism for countries that violate so-called rule of law standards. Hungary has been subject to multiple hearings on rule of law in the past, including in relation to the country’s migration policy. Meanwhile, Poland has faced intense scrutiny for its judicial reform and over LGBT issues.
She also noted that the loosely defined nature of “rule of law” means that the EU’s powerful liberal bloc can institute rule of law attacks with the distinct purpose of bringing down conservative governments they may disagree with.
“Speaking about ‘systematic dangers’ without mentioning concrete offenses reminds me of the methods of communist dictatorships,” Varga said in the interview.
Varga pointed out that instead of dealing with such hazy issues as rule of law, the European Union should concentrate on the real task at hand, which is combating the coronavirus pandemic.
“The agreement between the EU institutions and the member states on the distribution of the resources of the Reconstruction Fund is now the most important task in Europe to successfully mitigate the economic effects of the virus,” Varga said.
“Instead, in Brussels, they are preoccupied — contrary to the agreement of the European Council in July — that the allocation of resources from the seven-year EU budget and the Reconstruction Fund cannot be linked to a ‘mechanism of a political and ideological nature’,” she added.
Varga also said that on the basis of a “bad compromise agreement” with the European Parliament, an ideological blackmail of the member states is about to begin.
“Those EU institutions that want to force the radical opposition to this are simply playing the role of the Hungarian opposition, thereby violating Hungary’s sovereignty,” she said.
The issue of rule of law versus EU funding comes to a head on Monday at a meeting of the member states’ ambassadors to the European Union on Monday and a meeting of the member states’ EU affairs ministers on Tuesday, when it will become clear whether Hungary and Poland will stick to their positions of vetoing the seven-year budget and the economic rescue package if those remain linked to rule of law criteria.
“When we joined, we did not give up that part of our national sovereignty so that we could decide who we wanted to live with in our own country,” Varga said in a Facebook posted Monday morning, just ahead of the two critical meetings.
“We did not say yes to joining the EU so that Brussels could define for us what we consider a family, what we call marriage and who can adopt children in Hungary and under what conditions.”
Title image: Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga.