Neither a public application nor any other formal selection procedure preceded the nomination of Zoltán Csehi as the country’s new member of the European Court of Justice by Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga.
According to Telex sources, Csehi had been a lawyer in the law firm of Varga’s predecessor until 2016 and had little experience in European law prior to being appointed to the European General Court that same year.
Telex has asked the justice ministry for comments but has not received a reply by the time of publication.
On Monday, Atv.hu wrote that Varga would nominate Zoltán Csehi, currently a judge at the EU’s first instance court, as the Hungarian member of the top court, ECJ, for a six-year term on behalf of the government. The nomination is subject to approval by a vetting panel.
Government sources told Telex that Varga had made a unilateral decision on Csehi’s nomination, who was formally heard by the parliamentary committee on European affairs on Monday, but according to the parliamentary website and witness reports, his suitability was not examined on his merits.
Born in 1965, Csehi was also a lawyer in the law firm of former justice minister and current MEP László Trócsányi before being appointed to the General Court in 2016. This is not mentioned in his biography available on the Court’s website.
Trócsányi was Hungary’s first pick for Commissioner in Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission in 2019, but his candidacy was rejected by the European Parliament’s legal committee due to “conflict of interest,” forcing Budapest to instead nominate the current Hungarian Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com with Telex)