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petek, 28 januarja, 2022

Judit Varga: “We are a pro-European and conservative alternative to liberal policies”

By Álvaro Peñas

The Hungarian Minister of Justice and European Affairs, Judit Varga, was in Madrid last Monday on an official visit in which she met with Pablo Zapatero, Secretary of State for Justice, and Juan González-Barba, Secretary of State for the European Union. In the afternoon he gave a lecture at the San Pablo CEU University and even met with the president of VOX, Santiago Abascal. Despite her busy schedule, the minister held a meeting with various media outlets at which I was present. “My mission is to provide clear information about our position,” the minister began, “which will not always be the majority opinion in Europe, but which is legitimate”. 

The first topic of the meeting was the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. The minister showed her country’s support for Poland, Lithuania, the Baltic countries and all countries that have an imminent need to protect their borders, and recalled that Hungary faced the same situation in 2015: “We said then that we needed to have physical border protection for the Schengen area and it turned out to be effective, we stopped illegal immigration completely. At that time, it was considered a ‘act of the devil’ and started a sanction procedure which is still going on today, but we can see that more and more EU countries are using the same solution.” For Varga, the EU should tackle migration crises in the countries of origin and not bring the problem to Europe.

The current crisis in Belarus has also once again shown the EU’s double standards with regard to Hungary. In January this year, the European border agency, Frontex, abandoned Hungary because migrants were being returned to Serbia, a country considered ‘unsafe’ by Brussels. However, the EU itself has accepted returns to Belarus. “We live in a world of double standards with regard to Hungary and it is time to stop all these sanction procedures for doing the same policy that is being applied today. Hungary has spent 1.3 billion euros from its budget to build the wall and the EU has only given 20 million euros, because they don’t give money for walls”. Walls, however, are the only way to curb illegal immigration in the face of an ineffective EU asylum policy: “We have seen that in Western European countries, such as France or Belgium, they have a problem of secondary migration, that is, people whose asylum applications have been rejected and who have to return to their country do not do so; only 29% of the returns are effective, 71% stay. With walls, transit areas and returns across the border, we are protecting Europe from this secondary migration”.

For the minister, “reality is knocking at the door” and this crisis has proved that Hungary was right: “The key is not to send invitation letters, not to create a pull effect. Any quota or sharing mechanism is a zero for us. If there is a mechanism it means there is room, there is a willingness. In the new migration pact, they call it ‘return assistance’, but in practice you can’t guarantee return mechanisms for migrants and then they stay in Europe, and that’s the same as a quota. In short: finance walls, measures abroad, border protection and zero quotas”.

On the rule of law and the Commission’s threats to Hungary over its new child protection law, the minister was clear: “It is a law that defends the right of parents to determine the education of their children. We want to protect our children from LGTBQ lobby groups. It is not a law against anything or anyone, it is a law for the protection of families and children, a sovereign right that was not handed over to the EU which cannot determine how Hungarian parents should educate their children. But this has become part of the debate on the ‘rule of law’ and now in Hungary we have no ‘rule of law’ because of this law. This is nothing more than a tool of the progressive-leaning ideological majority, which unfortunately dominates in Europe, to put pressure on countries that do not want to accept their impositions”.

In this sense, one of the tools used against Hungary are NGOs linked to George Soros’ Open Society. The Hungarian government tried to demand transparency from these NGOs to know how much money they received in donations from abroad, but this law faced strong opposition from Brussels and a few NGOs, was challenged in court and Hungary lost the case. “Currently they only have to register their income electronically when it is over 30,000 euros. There are a number of NGOs in the EU that have a lot of financial resources with which they can influence public opinion, and it is this capacity that makes this transparency necessary. There are 60,000 NGOs in Hungary, but only a dozen of them belong to this network, and only they opposed the law. This is also an important signal that they have a very good network in the Commission, and we can see this in the report on the rule of law. There are 23 NGOs from this circle that are sources for this report and there are 60 references to their findings. The Commission simply copied and pasted their reports without any further analysis. This is not a phenomenon unique to Hungary, but also affects other conservative governments, and consequently the credibility of the Commission is at stake”.

However, all these ideological attacks on the Hungarian government are set against the indisputable fact of Hungary’s economic success, with GDP growth of 6.8% and unemployment below 4%, and an economy that, unlike in Spain, is at the service of the Hungarian people. “We came out of the financial crisis without IMF credit and so we were able to evolve in our own way. We have to be on the side of the people and not of the banks. In Hungary the price of gas, electricity and water is fixed to avoid any volatility in households. We fought against the liberalisation of these markets against the tide, because it was very progressive. Now we have the lowest prices in the EU”.

Nor has the confrontation with Brussels dented the European vocation of the Hungarian government, which is not considering the option of ‘Huxit’, an exit from the EU: “Absolutely not. It is in our Constitution and we have always been part of Europe. We are proud to have defended Europe with our blood and strength, faithfully protecting Europe from the Ottoman Empire. We were invaded and we expelled them. After the collapse of communism, we were able to join this community legally. We are from Central Europe and our mentality is European. I am European because I am Hungarian, if I were not Hungarian I could not be European”.

One might think that, in reality, the whole problem with Hungary is that it offers an “alternative” to the progressive liberal mainstream. “We have proved that in practice, in reality, there can be an alternative to liberal policies, that there can be a conservative democracy based on Christian freedom that respects everyone and is economically successful. We have proved that there is a pro-European, conservative alternative to liberal policies. And I think the danger we have is that we can be an example to others and be contagious. The European People’s Party is in constant challenge because it is in a crisis of leadership, in Spain the same thing is happening to the PP, the same thing is happening in Germany or in France. They are not loyal to their principles, being a conservative and Christian party, but their voters are still there, they have not disappeared, asking for real political representation. The Popular Party has become too liberal for them. There is a huge need for a real platform or alliance of conservative parties, and this will come”.

Source: El Correo de España

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