Hungary spokesman says ‘parental issues don’t belong in EU’
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Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007. The Hungarian PM offered support to Poland after the country won a court ruling which would see the Polish Constitution circumvent some EU laws. Insiders have cautioned Poland for the move, while others have touted concerns it is the first step in Polexit (Poland’s EU exit). The Hungarian PM’s backing has been seen as not only an endorsement but as an open statement about Hungary’s desire for Huxit (Hungary’s EU exit) – but could Hungary really leave the EU?
The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has backed Poland after the nation’s recent court ruling which found certain parts of the EU are incompatible with Poland’s constitution.
The court ruling, made on October 7, has put Poland and the EU on a collision course over justice system reforms.
Poland’s top court ruled the bloc’s power circumvents the nation’s laws.
The move was made amid a long-running battle between the two sides.
The tribunal said: “The effort by the Court of Justice of the European Union to interfere in the Polish justice system violates the … principle of the primacy of the Polish constitution.”
The ruling raised “serious concerns” according to the European Commission – especially given its swift endorsement by Poland’s Government.
Polan’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland requested the Constitutional Tribunal to rule on whether EU law had primacy over Poland’s Constitution given the escalation of tensions between the nation and the bloc.
On Facebook, the Polish PM wrote: “We want a community of respect and not a grouping of those who are equal and more equal. This is our community, our Union.
“This is the kind of Union we want and that’s the kind of Union we will create.”
The PM added the nation still wants to stay in the “European family of nations”, but stressed the importance of Polish freedoms.
Hungary’s leader Mr Orbán backed the court ruling on Saturday, October 9.
He welcomed the ruling and challenged the primacy of EU law – accusing EU institutions of overextending their powers.
According to Reuters, he said: “The primacy of EU law can only apply in those areas where the EU has powers, the framework for this had been set out in the EU’s treaties.”
Mr Orbán called on European Union institutions “to respect member states’ sovereignty.”
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Hungary has threatened to leave the EU in the past – comparing the bloc to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The country’s daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet previously stated it is “time to talk about Huxit” due to the nation’s animosity with the EU.
Speaking about the court ruling on Friday, Heiko Maas of Germany and Jean-Yves Le Drian of France said: “Membership of the EU goes with full and unrestricted allegiance to common values and rules.
“Respect for and compliance with these must be fulfilled by every member state.
“Of course, that also goes for Poland, which has a very central place within the EU.”
The ministers added: “This does not just mean a moral obligation. It also means a legal obligation.”
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto accused the bloc of financial blackmail.
He added Hungary would not compromise on its domestic laws to appease the EU.
Mr Szijjarto said: “There will be no compromise on this subject because we are not ready to abandon that protection.
“We have plenty of cash to begin those projects that would have been funded by EU bonds. We can achieve it without EU funds.”
But many EU experts have raised the prospect of the bloc leveraging funds to challenge EU nations which work against it.
Hungary and Poland are two of the most significant receiving countries for EU funds.
Hungary is expected to receive up to €38 billion (£32 billion) this year, while Poland received €121 billion (£104 billion).
Lucas Guttenberg, deputy director of Berlin think tank Delors Centre tweeted: “I don’t see how the Commission and a qualified majority of member states can greenlight the Polish plan to get recovery instrument money as long as this ruling stands.
“My sense is: This will backfire big time.”
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