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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Judit Varga: »We should prepare for a difficult battle«

By: Mariann Őry

We have been opposing the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers from the beginning, and this vision has been shared by more and more Member States over the years. 

»We believe that courts should be spared from the influence of the political branches of power,« Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga told Demokracija. We spoke to the Minister about immigration, the international network of NGO’s, and the future of the European Union.

Slovenia has a serious problem with judges and prosecutors who maintain continuity from communist times. What about Hungary? 

In Hungary, no one can influence or force a judge in his/her deliberations and judgements. As such, judicial independence in Hungary is an achievement of our historical constitution that has become an element of identity. We believe that courts should be spared from the influence of the political branches of power, it must be, therefore, a politically neutral branch of power. A shining example is, for instance, the appointment of the General Prosecutor. While in many Western European countries they are under the Minister of Justice in terms of hierarchy, in Hungary, he or she is appointed by the Parliament with a qualified majority and works separately from any of the government’s bodies.

Brussels uses double standards when dealing with some countries. For example, no one was upset when police in France beat protesters. What is your experience in this regard?

I do not want to comment on the internal affairs of other Member States. In Hungary, however, we’ve had a similar issue back in 2006 when the Socialist government ordered the violent oppression of a protest. The soul of an entire nation was wounded by the mindless violence, during which the then government, instead of being held accountable for its sins and omissions, decided to attack its own citizens. It was only our government, which decided to offer compensation.

The Brussels eurocracy has filed several lawsuits against Hungary. What judgements do you expect from the EU Court of Justice?

The Hungarian government has on several occasions assured the EU institutions that it is ready to comply with the judgments. This means that we remain open for a dialogue, we have no illusions after recent developments though. It is absurd, for instance, that the Court needed almost three years to decide on a simple procedural issue arising from the famous Sargentini vote, when on the other hand, one of the most important and complex legal issues in the history of the Union – the conditionality mechanism – will take only a few months to discuss and decide on. The reason for that is: there is a growing pressure on the Court from the direction of the left-majority of the European Parliament. Be it a simple vote or blackmailing the European Commission, they try to blackmail all Member States that are rejecting their ideals.

There has been huge pressure on Hungary because the country rejected the mandatory resettlement quotas. Why does Hungary oppose this concept?

What we see is that some Member States have decided to handle their demographic and workforce problems by admitting migrants. However, Hungary does not agree that migration should be a ‘one size fits all’ solution to our demographic and labour market problems, nor that migration would be beneficial for development and maintaining prosperity. In accordance with our constitutional identity, we believe that only Hungarians can decide who they want to live with. We have been opposing the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers from the beginning, and this vision has been shared by more and more Member States over the years. Relocation has clearly failed. Even those Member States that support the mechanism could not relocate as many migrants as they wanted. Mandatory relocation only acts as a pull factor and it cannot contribute to the solution to the migration crisis.

The Hungarian government has realised that Soros’ network of NGOs imposes its political goals on countries, including promoting open societies and supporting mass immigration. What countermeasures would you suggest to other countries that are also affected by the impact of this network? 

The aim of the Hungarian government was to ensure the transparency of the activities of non-governmental organizations, which is a legitimate, democratic and European expectation. This statement has even been recognized by the Court of Justice of the European Union among many other international fora. The law requires all associations and foundations with a balance sheet total of HUF 20 million in the current year to submit an annual report to the State Audit Office. The powers of the State Audit Office ensure professionalism and independence. It is independent of all other organizations and reports only to the National Assembly. In addition, when drafting the proposed regulation, the government examined the regulations of other EU Member States, in particular the German and Austrian regulations. The latter also imposes enhanced transparency requirements above a certain amount of revenue.

Do you think that there are foreign actors – for example the Soros network or other NGO’s – involved in uniting the left-wing opposition in Hungary? What kind of help do these forces receive from abroad (for example media support or other possibilities)? 

In my opinion, the so-called Soros network has an imperial ambition to create a multi-ethnic, multicultural open society by promoting migration. To do so, NGO’s all around Europe joined their forces to conduct a constant and politically motivated witch-hunt. To give you a clear example: recently, the ‘independent and objective’ Reporters Without Borders attempted to portray Hungary as a place where the freedom of the press is being oppressed in a particularly drastic and ruthless way. And guess who donated $ 200,000 in 2017 and $ 175,000 in 2019 to that NGO? The foundations of George Soros. So what is happening is that organisations of the left-wing opinion bubble are trying to undermine Hungary’s reputation with false reports and lists by using directed questions, and the Hungarian opposition is assisting such hate campaigns.

How did the Hungarian people react to the pandemic and the government’s protective measures? How did the government involve the people in the decision process?

The vaccination program of Hungary is a clear success story. We’ve already reached five and half million of vaccinated people. In the difficult times behind us, the unity of our Hungarian compatriots and the endurance of ordinary heroes meant a ray of hope for many of us, so we thank them all. The key mission of the Hungarian government is to ask citizens about all important issues. This March, hence, we asked everyone to participate in a national consultation about the reopening of the country. People should know that they can have a voice in the decision-making process.

How do you see the future of the EU? Will it move towards closer cooperation and even towards United States of Europe, as some politicians want, or towards strong nation states?

Hungary continues to support every initiative, which facilitates common thinking on the future of Europe. We believe that the EU is the best framework to face both, internal and external challenges, and we strive to contribute as much as possible to creating a stronger, safer and more competitive EU. However, the most obvious lesson of the last decade is that we need a multipolar, smart Europe, and not an ever closer Union. Without respect for national constitutions, the culture of consensus and equality between the Member States, the future of Europe cannot be planned.

What about the future of Hungary? What are the most important circumstances you need to consider, what will affect the future of the country?

We will have a general election next year, and both the opposition parties and Brussels have already launched smear campaigns with one clear goal: to get rid of a government that works for the benefit of the Hungarian people. Moreover, the left-liberal parties even teamed up with the devil, aka the far-right party. This proves that we should prepare for a difficult battle. We will keep fighting because we know that the truth is on our side!

Interview by Mariann Őry, head of the foreign desk at Hungarian conservative daily newspaper Magyar Hírlap

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