The recent visit to Azerbaijan by the prime minister of Hungary, or if the ruling government prefers, ‘Macaristan,’ has primarily become known for the “Hungarians of Kipchak blood” and Viktor Orbán’s profound devotion to ex-president Nazarbayev, despite the fact that he has made much more serious claims that deserve greater attention.
At the meeting of eastern dictators in Baku, Fidesz’ head of government said that Hungary was still fighting for the neighbourhood policy and enlargement portfolio in the European Commission, and if we succeed in acquiring this European portfolio, we will be “pleased to be at the service” of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
“Our chances are not slim, but it is a fierce battle. If we manage (…) to get it, we will have close cooperation with Azerbaijan on the Eastern Partnership, and as regards the accession negotiations with Turkey (…) will be happy to help you be at your disposal so that we can support your ambitions,” said Viktor Orbán in first person plural, as if he were to make a promise on behalf of the European Commission, or at least the Hungarian EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargement. This is more serious a statement than it seems at first.
It is patently obvious that the president of Fidesz makes friends among the leaders of the Eastern dictatorships, for easily detectable, personal or family reasons, and seeks their favour with all sorts of fancy lies about bloodlines and tribal ties. However, selling our membership of the EU to eastern despots, for who knows how much and for whose benefit, is more than dangerous.
Viktor Orbán mounted the Kipchak horse backwards when he promised all sorts of good deeds to his Turkic business partners on behalf of the future EU Commissioner. Although appointed by the governments of the Member States, the members of the European Commission, once appointed, break all formal ties with the sending country and carry out their duties exclusively as guardians of the EU Treaties and serve the interest of the European Community as a whole.
Article 245 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states very precisely that the Commissioners “shall be completely independent in the performance of their duties and shall act in the general interest of the Union; in particular, they shall neither seek nor take instructions from any government or from any other external body.”
So Viktor Orbán either simply deceived his Turkmen brethren or admitted that the person he nominated as EU Commissioner (currently Olivér Várhelyi) would remain in his personal service as opposed to that of the European Union and that he is ready to use his European Commissioner licence for business purposes. This is a more serious scandal than we would think and it must be food for thought for Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the leaders of the European People’s Party and the Hungarian electorate.
dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
20 October, 2019