Commission’s assessment of Hungary welcome, now Council must defend democracy
Rule of Law
Today, the European Commission has just presented its assessment of the Hungarian government’s 17 measures aimed at tackling the rampant corruption in the country surrounding the misuse of EU funds. The measures, which were proposed as a result of the triggering of the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism, have yet to be implemented and it is unclear how effective they will be in the absence of an independent judiciary. The Commission’s assessment, if agreed by the Council, will result in a freezing of certain European funds to Hungary.
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA Group President, comments:
“To defend rule of law is the basis of the work of the Commission as guardian of the EU treaties. It is welcome that the Commission is standing firm on the activation of the rule of law conditionality. Now it’s up to the Council to stand up for European values and ensure that the mechanism stays in place for Hungary. The Council must not succumb to Orban’s attempts at holding vital measures hostage in exchange for EU funds.
“This is not just about Hungary. If the EU is unable to uphold basic democratic standards and the rule of law in one member state, then it will no longer be a club of democracies. The Council must stand firm on the rule of law next week and support the ongoing rule of law process for Hungary."
Philippe Lamberts MEP, Greens/EFA Group President, comments:
“We welcome that the Commission has not given in to Viktor Orban’s empty promises and attempts at blackmail. The Commission standing up for the rule of law and European values is essential for the functioning of the EU and today’s announcement is a positive sign for the future.
“The anti-corruption measures proposed by the Hungarian government will not fix the fundamental flaws with the rule of law and democracy in Hungary. The absence of an independent judiciary makes the government’s promises little more than words on paper, if we cannot guarantee that they will be implemented properly. We need to see real reform on the rule of law in Hungary before we can trust that the EU’s budget will be protected and that democratic standards are upheld.”