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 Full text 
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 - Brussels Revised edition

State of the Union (topical debate) (continuation of debate)

  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Mr President, I would like to say to Madam President of the Commission that credibility is essential if you want to implement reforms or your ambitious agenda, and it is also essential if you want to speak in a single voice in international affairs and show an alternative to democratic opposition in Belarus or elsewhere.

Implementing the rule of law criteria is an issue on which the Commission is not credible. I just want to remind you that the MFF proposal which was brokered by the Commission and the Council was rejected by this Chamber exactly on that ground and for that reason. We have so many times heard your words on no compromise on rule of law that we all know it by heart and we are somewhat bored of it. I’m also happy to hear that the Commission is going to compile a report on rule of law and I will be very happy to read it and I will be very glad to come back here and debate it. But I’m afraid that it will have absolutely nothing new to say to me on my country at least, Hungary, where my country stands on rule of law. The criteria that you have set out – judicial independence, press freedom, institutional checks and balances, corruption – I can tell you exactly where Hungary stands on this subject and on this issue and you can save your time and energy.

This week I was very happy to come here and listen to the Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová stand up for linking EU funds to rule of law, saying who doesn’t understand the talk about values will understand the language of money. After this I was curious to come here and hear some details and specifics from you about what this will really entail, but now I’m a bit suspicious that once again the money talks, will work backwards and in another way.

Last time we discussed here in this Chamber rule of law in Hungary and heard from the Commission that there will be no compromise, a few days later a German Minister, your successor to the Ministry of Defence in Germany, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer arrived in Budapest to sign one of the greatest contracts on arms deals in the history of Hungary with the Hungarian Government. Is there anyone surprised here why there is little if any progress on this issue vis-à-vis Hungary. Ms von der Leyen, when will you back up your words with action on rule of law?

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