Prague says V4 allies Poland, Hungary breached rule of law

“We talked about some very concrete steps, for example, that in terms of long-term development, a coalition of states could be formed, not only from the EU, but perhaps also from NATO states, which would provide asylum to soldiers of the Russian Federation who decide not to fight and desert,” the Czech PM said after he returned from Kyiv.   [EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK]

The rule of law was violated in Hungary and Poland, Czechia’s new EU Affairs Minister Mikuláš Bek (STAN, EPP) said in an interview for Hospodářské noviny.

The country’s new five-party government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS, ECR) does not have a clear position on the rule of law mechanism or Article 7 and their potential triggering against Hungary and Poland. However, Bek expects the defence of EU values to prevail in the new governing cabinet.

“It is clear that there are influential voices in ODS (Civic Democratic Party, ECR affiliated) that will side with Hungary and Poland,” Bek explained.

For example, Czech MEPs from ODS did not vote in favour of European Parliament resolutions criticising Hungary and Poland. Fiala, however, has expressed his worries regarding the so-called “oligarchisation” of Hungary. According to Bek, the new government has to find common ground among diverse opinions.

“What is important is the intersection and, in my view, it cannot be anywhere else than in the defence of the rule of law, which is being violated in both countries,” Bek said.

The EU affairs minister also hinted at Poland and Hungary possibly facing isolation, even within the Visegrad group.

“Hungary and Poland are now in serious conflict with the rest of the EU, while the Czech Republic and Slovakia are not playing the same sheet music,” Bek pointed out.

“It is more like Poland and Hungary versus the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The meaningfulness of cooperation on a Visegrad basis is weakened. However, this may change after the elections in both countries (Poland and Hungary), in case of Hungary perhaps in this year already,” Czechia’s new EU minister added.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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