Hungary, Poland Furious Over EU Vote

Monday, June 5, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BUDAPEST/WARSAW (Worthy News) – Hungary and  Poland have condemned the European Parliament for adopting a resolution questioning Hungary’s ability to hold the European Union presidency next year due to concerns about its perceived crackdown on democratic values.

The resolution questioned how Hungary could hold the presidency “in view of incompliance with EU law and the values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union as well as the principle of sincere cooperation.”

The nonbinding measure, which passed by a 442-144 vote, got support from five political groups spanning from the far left to the center-right, including Christian Democrats.

It showed broad European discontent with the Hungarian government’s alleged authoritarian policies. Critics say these policies undermined the freedom of media, the judiciary, and even churches while encouraging cronyism and widespread corruption.

Questionable tenders making friends and family members of rightwing nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán dollar millionaires and billionaires have added to rule-of-law concerns.

Once asked why his close circles, including former school friends, neighbors, and family members, have all become very rich, Orbán said he is “not dealing with business.”

However, with the EU still awaiting more concrete answers, Brussels is withholding billions of euros (dollars) in funds from Hungary over accusations that it violated EU principles.


Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga called the Parliament’s push “nonsense,” arguing that it has “no role to play” in assigning the order of EU presidencies.

The resolution’s primary authors conceded that there was no apparent legal route to stop Hungary from taking the presidency but said Parliament was “not entirely powerless.”

Some legislators suggested taking the shine of the Hungarian presidency by limiting cooperation to the bare minimum while giving platforms to dissidents such as journalists or academics at official events.

Hungary claims the Brussels move and the EU Parliament’s vote against it holding the rotating six-month EU presidency is in punishment for Hungarian “Christian pro-family views” and “anti-migration and anti-war policies.”

Poland agrees. Despite a cooling of relations over sharp differences in the Ukraine war,  Budapest and Warsaw remain united in opposing “interference” from the EU in their domestic affairs.

“It is a clear violation of European rules in their most important form, that is [EU] treaty rules,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a conference in Moldova. He clarified that a calendar agreed upon by all EU governments in 2016 shows Hungary will hold the bloc’s presidency between July and December 2024.

“Destroying the entire way of managing the EU in this way is not only a road to nowhere, but it is a road to the abyss,” Morawiecki stressed.


Speaking on Hungarian radio, Orbán accused  Brussels of trying to “ruin” Hungary’s “economy, people, families and pensioners,” adding that he would do what is best for his nation.

The rightwing governments of Hungary and Poland have warned of the bloc becoming a “United States of Europe” without respecting member states’ traditions and sovereignty.

Both countries recall their endured decades of occupation by troops of the then Moscow-led Soviet Union and say Brussels seeks to rule Europe as a new empire.

Yet last week, the EU’s executive European Commission and U.S. State Department voiced worries about a new Polish law they say could effectively ban, without providing a proper judicial review, individuals deemed to have acted under Russian influence from holding public office.

Officials fear the legislation is used to stifle dissent ahead of upcoming elections and remove opposition party leader and former Prime Minister Donald Tusk or other rivals from public life.

Yet hundreds of thousands marched in an anti-government protest in Poland’s capital. Poles traveled from across the country to voice their anger in Warsaw on Sunday at a government that they said eroded democratic norms.

The rally was held on the 34th anniversary of the first democratic elections in 1989 after Poland emerged from decades of communist rule. Warsaw City Hall announced that up to 500,000 people took part, one of the largest protests in recent years.

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