No one has the courage and aptitude to lead Europe today, meaning there is no political leadership in the European Union, especially in the European Commission, said Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga at a Budapest conference on Thursday.
“In the European Union today, it is non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and think tanks that tell Europe how to run Europe, according to the will of their own leaders,” she said.
“Recently, for asymmetric reasons, a crisis of confidence has arisen between the EU leadership and the Hungarian government. This is because the Hungarian government, unlike the EU institutions, says what it thinks and does what it says,” she added.
Varga said Europe is stumbling around the stage of history as a clumsy sideshow, drifting from crisis to crisis, and since the migration crisis, it has been trying to make policy in a way that is completely divorced from the real needs of its citizens. She said the institutional system also failed during the Covid crisis and then shot itself in the foot with sanctions against Russia after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
She warned that immigration is a crisis that still affects Europe and continues to cost the Hungarian budget heavily.
“At the same time, by defending Europe, we have to constantly fight the judgments and proceedings of the European Court of Justice,” she said. “Waiting for yet another slap in the face instead of any good deed, that is the fate of Hungary.”
Varga noted that during the coronavirus crisis, the EU made deals regarding vaccines, and yet those text messages have never been produced, referring to the murky case involving EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“We make no secret of the fact that we want to hold the functioning of the institutions in the European Union accountable in terms of the rule of law. Let’s talk about whether the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European institutions are respecting the rules, whether the rule of law is working in the institutions,” said the minister.
On the issue of the Hungarian EU presidency, the European Parliament has no say in this, the minister said, stressing that more than 10 years ago, a unanimous European Council decision had established the order of the member states, which can only be changed by unanimity. The presidency is not only a right but also an obligation, and the opposition will not achieve anything by such an attempt, but it could do enormous damage.
According to the minister, the European Parliament wants to block Hungary’s EU presidency precisely because it fears that Hungary will take stock of the dysfunctional state of EU institutions.