“Contrary to the determination of the former European Commission President, the EU should have formulated a much more determined response not to the [Hungarian] Parliament’s decision, but should have properly coordinated the response to the virus and instead of criticising member states, extend immediate help to the Europeans in trouble,” Hungarian justice minister Judit Varga wrote in a social media post. Vlagyiszlav Makszimov reports.
Varga was responding to Jean-Claude Juncker’s comments given to Politico, where the former Commission President said he thought European “governments and the Commission will call a spade a spade” following the Hungarian law that allowed the government to rule by decree indefinitely as long as the state of emergency lasts. “When it comes to the rule of law standard, it is not wishy-washy, but plain language that counts,” Juncker added.
Following the adoption of the law, Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen first said that coronavirus emergency measures by EU countries must be “limited”, but did not mention Hungary by name. Von der Leyen has since said that she is “particularly concerned with the situation in Hungary”.
“As the Prime Minister [Viktor Orban] put it, if one cannot help in an emergency, they at least should not thwart our efforts,” wrote Varga, adding “we wish President Jean-Claude Juncker happy retirement years, in good health.” (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)