By: Ivan Šokić
The definition of the rule of law varies depending on who you ask. For some, it means respecting the law and is a guarantee that any misunderstandings can always be resolved in court. For others, the rule of law means accepting all the madness that Brussels Eurocrats remember.
It is no secret that the European Parliament has been dragging Hungary and Poland through its teeth for some time. Proceedings under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union were initiated against both Hungary in 2015 and Poland in 2017. Hungary was prosecuted for violating “EU fundamental values”, while in the case of the Poles, judicial reform was under attack to clean up Avhij’s barn full of communist remnants.
All in all, the enemies of Hungary and Poland have failed to achieve anything in Brussels, as the adoption of any sanctions requires the consent of all Member States except the accused, and Poland and Hungary have covered their backs. The escalation by the Brussels Commissariat was only a matter of time.
This brings us to the Extraordinary European Council between July 17th and 21st, 2020, when the leaders of the EU Member States reached an agreement on the recovery package and the 2021-2027 budget. It is no secret that the spears broke. All the reluctance of the leaders of the so-called “thrifty countries” was merely kabuki, which diverted attention away from the establishment of a rule of law mechanism, which Brussels would like to condition the allocation of already approved funds to individual EU member states.
The credit for this goes to the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, which drew from naphthalene the absurdly abstracted notion of the “rule of law”, which would be judged on the principle of arbitrariness, as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán put it. I personally think that there is some logic in the Brussels madness that could be described as “ours and yours”. Ours, they will conclude in Brussels, respect the rule of law, whatever that is. Yours can never do that because they are not ours. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša described this as “the rule of law”.
For Poland and Hungary, the proposed “rule of law” mechanism is not only about arbitrariness, but also about simplification in sanctioning Member States that would be found guilty of overthrowing the “rule of law”. Unlike the current absolute majority, a simple majority would now suffice. In practice, this would mean that Poland and Hungary would sign their own death sentences by agreeing. Is it any wonder that they are willing to veto as long as the veto means something else? Meanwhile, billionaire George Soros of New York warns that the EU “cannot afford to compromise on the rule of law provisions relating to the allocation of funds to member states.”
What worries me most is the fact that only Poland and Hungary are willing to veto such a proposal. Do other EU Member States think they are inviolable? That they will never find themselves on the fly of Brussels apparatchiks eager for a new scalp? That is naive thinking. Because the “rule of law”, as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović is proving these days, can really be a comprehensive and severely vague concept.
Mijatović launched her latest jihad against Hungary in the name of the rights of the “LGBTQ community”. In a statement published on the Council of Europe’s website on Friday, November 20th, 2020, Mijatović expressed fears that the Hungarian government’s proposals for constitutional amendments could “undermine democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Hungary.” Protecting a normal family and children’s rights is for Mijatović’s undermining the rule of law.
“Hungary protects the institution of a law based on a consensual relationship between a woman and a man and protects the family as the basis on which the nation can survive. The basis of this relationship within the family is marriage as well as the parent-child relationship. The father is a man, the mother is a woman,” says the 9th Amendment to the Hungarian Constitution. This is for Mijatović’s undermining of the rule of law and as such worthy of sanctions.
Protecting a normal family is undermining the rule of law. However, it is not an undermining of the rule of law when the French gendarmerie indulges in yellow vests, or the Slovenian perjury innocently imprisons the leader of the opposition just before the elections.
Ivan Šokić is a philosophy student, editor-in-chief of the science fiction web portal and a publicist at Nova24TV. He is an expert in international relations.