Do not rush to judgement, because it’s not at all as easy as it might seem at first. In fact, I wouldn’t even suggest for right-wing opinion Hussars and government communications apprentices to put an equation mark between withholding the funds Hungary should get and treason just upon a gut feeling, as Viktor Orbán himself (as an opposition party leader at the time) demanded the same in 2006 in his speech before the People’s Party.
So easy now and be careful with calling anyone names for it may soon fall back on your own leader. And it is no coincidence that I pose the question now, as the next seven-year EU budget is currently being drafted. The new President of the European Council comprised of Heads of State and Government, Charles Michel of Belgium, has recently come up with a new proposal that is a tad more beneficial for Hungary: e.g. the envelope of cohesion funds may be thicker than previously proposed, but we are still to lose a great deal because of the policy Orbán’s National Cooperation System.
Of course, Viktor Orbán may be partly pleased that the President of the EUCO would make EU payments linked to observing the rule of law in a way, which would require a qualified majority in the Council, not to lift the blocking of funds but to order the suspension of payments in the first place. Heads of State and Government will meet in Brussels this Thursday to discuss this issue, among other things.
I would like to make it clear that I will not vote for a seven-year budget that provides a loophole for renegade governments; which tolerates and allows, for example, the Fidesz oligarch government to steal and use EU funds meant for Hungarian people for its own purposes. For the time being, we have successfully managed to get much more – albeit, in my opinion not enough – development resources, for example, for Hungary, contrary to the original budget proposal.
In this, the progressive majority of the European Parliament, the Social Democrats, the People’s Party, the Greens and the Liberals, acted jointly to make clear to the President of the European Council: with our absolute majority, we will veto the budget unless certain conditions are met, e.g. the significant increase of cohesion funds. The rule of law criterion and the pertaining mechanism are also essential, as the threat to European values and the theft of EU funds is systemic.
I have to represent the interests of Hungarian people, so I have to defend every single Eurocent, which does not serve to improve the lives of the Hungarian people but ends up in the safe of the Fidesz family mafia. Mechanisms must be found for the Union to provide resources directly, bypassing corrupt governments. In spite of Fidesz’s struggle against the rule of law stipulation, there is a very simple solution to the problem: just go back to being decent, adhere to the rule of law, and put an end to systemic state corruption.
Fidesz better join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office immediately, thereby demonstrating its commitment to transparency and the fair use of EU public funds. That’s how simple it is. We shall fight for the increase of the funds owed to Hungary in place of Fidesz, too, however, it is up to Fidesz alone to determine whether they will be blocked in the future. I cannot have and indeed have no other option but to use the tools at my disposal to ensure that the development funds owed to Hungarian people do not disappear on the way in the government’s public money suction-pump.
So there can only be one answer to the question in the title. The possible suspension of the payment of EU funds is not treason, but rather a patriotic act, as it prevents the public money owed to the Hungarian people from falling into the hands of a corrupt state mafia organisation. In a fair and sober world, the concept of treason would apply when support for the good of the country is intentionally stolen. So be careful with the wording! Especially those who have been abusing their position of power and have been elbow deep in the community’s money for years now.
MEP István Ujhelyi