The EU’s alternate reality

French MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield. (European Parliament/Fred Marvaux)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

It has been more than a little surreal to listen to recent statements made by politicians who arrived in Budapest with a delegation from European Parliament’s famous (and infamous) LIBE Committee.

At the press conference of Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield of the French Green Party in Budapest last Friday, the head of the delegation jokingly remarked that she should come to Hungary more often to get more attention, as she usually spoke to no more than one or two journalists.

Self-reflection is to be appreciated: Hungary has been a debate hit in the European Parliament for years. Indeed, one can build a political career on it — or at least one can try, just like Judith Sargentini, who happens to also be from the Green Party.

Of course, regardless of how much liberals bring it up, plenary and committee meetings exhibit less and less interest in Hungarian matters. Usually, the same politicians say exactly the same thing. As interest declines, frustration mounts. Left-liberal MEPs are angry — appalled even — that despite all their bullying and blackmail, the European Commission still does not dance to their tune.

According to Delbos-Corfield, the current path was decided back in 2019 before the epidemic intervened. She has said this so many times that no one might think they timed their visit to overlap the election campaign.

In fact, few found it merely coincidental that they came at this particular time if only because dissatisfaction with the stalemate in the Article 7 procedure is offset in Brussels by the withholding of financial resources from the Recovery Fund (after Hungary adopted the Child Protection Act, another shocking coincidence) and the demand for enforcement of the conditionality regulation. Without a second thought, they would set aside the Court of Justice of the European Union, along with common rules and values, in order to punish “rebellious” member states.

The Austrian member of the LIBE delegation, MEP Bettina Vollath, also listed her complaints at the press conference in Strasbourg and in the Austrian press, only to follow up with aggressive demands. According to the Social Democrat, the situation in Hungary is deteriorating, there is practically no independent press and judiciary, and it is time to apply the conditionality regulation, which also involves the withdrawal of EU funds.

Moreover, Ms. Vollath also found it difficult to bear the fact that — as per her claims — the Hungarian government’s representatives had not welcomed the delegation. And who wouldn’t be happy to be quoted at a meeting where what is said has no effect on the report on Hungary?

This is not just my assumption. Two right-wing members of the delegation, Nicolas Bay and Jorge Buxadé, agreed that the left-liberals had already written the text before the trip anyway. Incidentally, the two MEPs were criticized at both press conferences by their left-liberal counterparts, who apparently found it hard to contend with any disagreement. The two happened to say — and here’s the kicker — that democracy in Hungary works.

Share This Article