There seems to be no emergency brake on the pro-government bandwagon of lies, or at least there is no one left of the one time pro-European, respectable young democrats to pull it while the illiberal train is running wild. László Kövér and Máté Kocsis of Fidesz, and Zsolt Semjén and István Simicskó of KDNP are the signatories of a newly tabled parliamentary resolution, which formulates the Hungarian position as a result of a series of conferences on the transformation of the European Union. It does this by presenting its own anti-European, purely party-political theses, formulated along the lines of Fidesz power interests that further strain the European community and hinder its functioning, as the unified and well-developed position of the Hungarian nation. This is a blatant lie.
As is known, the European Commission set out as a priority in 2019 that it would gather the views of European citizens in a broad and lengthy public debate on the functioning of the EU and the directions of its planned reform. More than five million people have accessed the dedicated online platforms, nearly 17,000 individual ideas and proposals have been discussed and almost 7,000 events have been held across Europe as part of a comprehensive series of conferences, some of which took place in the plenary Chamber of the European Parliament. So it is a significant amount of work that has been done, with millions of people taking part and expressing their views, and the European Commission has been processing these ever since with a legislative initiative expected in the autumn. According to the Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary resolution, “instead of being an open and democratic dialogue, by excluding the approval of a large part of the public, the conference series has become a servant of the political and ideological ambitions of forces interested in the erosion of the sovereignty of Member States and the increase of the power of the EU bureaucracy”. The Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary resolution also states that at the same time the Hungarian Parliament welcomes the fact that Hungarian citizens participated in the conference series with an activity far above the European average and that Parliament “stands by the opinion of the Hungarian people that the European Union must change because it is unprepared for the challenges of today”. The document also states that the “Hungarian position”; is that the EU treaties should be revised and the objective of “ever closer unity”; should be deleted from it. However, it should be included in it that European integration is based on Christian roots and culture, and that the European Commission should be politically and ideologically neutral. The governing majority also wants to state as part of the Hungarian position that the powers that can be exercised through the EU institutions should be reviewed and, for example, that it should be guaranteed at treaty level that each nation can decide for itself “with whom it wants to live”.
Fidesz-KDNP would include in the EU treaty a ban on further joint EU debt absorption (interestingly, they are now pushing for the call on the Recovery Funds that we would receive as a result of the first joint debt absorption), but they would also curb the rights of the European Parliament, and take the delegation of MEPs out of the hands of Hungarian citizens, so that in future they would not be able to directly elect their representatives, but national parliaments would send them to Brussels. Another radical change, according to the “Hungarian position”;, would be to allow national governments and national parliaments to initiate EU legislative procedures; a power that the European Parliament is also demanding for itself, but which Fidesz, of course, does not support. The proposed resolution that Fidesz-KDNP has now tabled and is seeking to adopt is extremely damaging and dishonest in several respects. On the one hand, the comprehensive series of conferences initiated by the European Commission was successful and meaningful and many Hungarian citizens and NGOs participated in it; but even representatives of the Hungarian Government, State Secretaries, mayors and Fidesz MEPs were present at major events, which means that it is a lie that they had no meaningful influence on the proceedings. Moreover, while the governing parties would enshrine the “Hungarian position”; in a parliamentary resolution, there is, in fact, no sign or evidence that Hungarian citizens agree with it, or even want it.
On the contrary, according to the summary published by the European Commission, which also includes a large number of opinions expressed by Hungarian citizens and NGOs, the majority of European citizens would give the electorate a greater say in the election of the President of the European Commission, for example, or even the European Parliament that they elect. There are indeed a number of points where possible changes to the EU Treaties and powers have been raised, but not in the way that Fidesz is now trying to squeeze into a parliamentary document, but quite the opposite: the majority of European citizens, including Hungarians, want more European influence and influence in, for example, equal access to quality education or in the creation of minimum quality standards for health care systems. There was also a general consensus as a result of the conference series that there is a need to move to qualified majority voting for all EU decisions, as the current system gives too much scope for blackmail to certain Member States, which thus block common European issues; but the same is true for sanctions for breaches of the rule of law, where European citizens, including Hungarians, are also calling for new rules. Fidesz-KDNP is therefore plotting another despicable stunt, only to strengthen the Prime Minister’s blackmailing positions at the forthcoming European Council summit. It is a political crime to adopt a parliamentary resolution containing such lies and clauses that deliberately weaken our European community. It is sad that there is apparently not a single European Hungarian left in Fidesz to protest against this. So let me hereby do it for them.
István Ujhelyi MEP
Brussels/Budapest – 22/06/2022