Hungary ready to fight European Commission

Startbeitrag von Moderator. am 05.10.2017 07:52

Hungary ready to fight European Commission

No refugees, new regulations and more sovereignty? How long will Viktor Orban's government keep playing the bad boy in Brussels? Tim Sebastian meets international government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs.

Zoltan Kovacs

"If we have to fight it we're going to go for it," the Hungarian government spokesperson told DW on the country's ongoing disputes with the EU.

Asked whether Viktor Orban’s government was prepared for a major rift with Brussels, Zoltan Kovacs said one lesson the government learned over the past years was that "it was worth taking the fight because at the end of the day turned out that we were right and though we don't like to be vindicated."

The European Commission had launched legal proceedings against Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in June 2017 over their handling of the refugee crisis. It accused all three of breaching their legal obligations and showing disregard to Greece, Italy and other member states, as they failed to relocate migrants from Italy and Greece in 2015.

But it's not just the refugee issue: the Commission has also criticized legal reforms on foreign-funded NGOs: "The new law could prevent NGOs from raising funds and would restrict their ability to carry out their work," the Commission said.

Charges are 'nothing new'

Confronted with these charges, Kovacs said: "We've seen so many topics, so many charges rather, against Hungary for the past seven years that again, this is nothing new." In 2015, Hungary went to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to complain about mandatory quota for refugees. The ECJ turned it down. Kovacs told Conflict Zone his government acknowledged this decision, however reiterated: "We are not going to accept the quota, that's right."

Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian foreign minister went one step further and said in September 2017: "This decision jeopardizes the security and future of all of Europe… Politics has raped European law and values."

'There are red lines'

"There are limits, there are red lines we've drawn around our constitution," the government spokesperson said when DW's Tim Sebastian asked: "You didn't read the small print, did you, when you joined the EU?"

Referring to Hungary’s sovereignty which will "is never going to be given up", Kovacs said: "Brexit should be a lesson actually to Brussels' bureaucracy because it's not a cause, it's an outcome of problems regarding the relationship of Brussels vis-à-vis London."

In or out?

So will Hungary follow the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the bloc, given it feels increasingly disadvantaged? A speech by Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban seems to point in that direction. "Twenty-seven years ago here in Central Europe we believed that Europe was our future; today we feel that we are the future of Europe," he said during a speech at a university in Romania in July 2017.

Orban also called for...........


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