The Sovereignty Protection Office, set to be established by 1 February, faces its primary task in safeguarding the integrity of the upcoming election campaign and electoral process, as stated by the appointed head of the newly established office, political scientist Tamás Lánczi, during Tuesday’s broadcast on the M1 public news channel.
Tamás Lánczi deemed it an honour to be nominated for the position by Prime Minister Orbán and expressed his gratitude for the forthcoming appointment document from President Novák.
The concept of sovereignty, defined constitutionally as the nation’s economic, cultural, communicative, and political self-identity and independence, forms the basis for the office’s tasks,
Lánczi elucidated. Emphasizing that the office is not an authority, does not conduct investigations, and does not impose sanctions, Tamás Lánczi outlined its fundamental role in analysis and disclosure, with transparency being its paramount tool. The office carries out inquiries and collaborates with other state entities. Also, upon detecting irregularities, it publicly discloses them while informing the relevant authorities.
Lánczi went on to mention that, in cases akin to the 2022 ‘rolling dollars’ case, the office can engage in cooperation with other state agencies to uncover similar abuses. He explained that the office can request information gathered by other state entities through collaboration, analyze and examine it, draw conclusions, and bring them to public attention.
In case of any legislative shortcomings or the necessity for regulatory measures, the Sovereignty Protection Office may draw the attention of lawmakers. Highlighting the significance of preventing abuses similar to those witnessed in 2022, especially given the upcoming municipal and European Parliamentary elections in June, Lánczi specified that the office’s explicit task is to thwart attempts at foreign interference. If signs of such influence are observed, the office will take necessary measures and alert the authorities to the matter.
Responding to a question from the programme host, Lánczi asserted that
if the European Commission or any other EU body attempts to exceed its competencies or undermine Hungary’s sovereignty, it could be subject to investigation.
However, he clarified that while Hungary exercises certain competencies jointly with other Member States, the investigation of resulting ‘frictions’ is not among the office’s primary tasks. In the context of concerns emanating from Brussels regarding the establishment of the office, Lánczi acknowledged that apprehensions have been voiced from Brussels, characterizing them as veiled attacks. He noted that such concerns are not surprising, as there have always been entities in Brussels attempting to overstep their authority and intervene in Hungary’s constitutional life.
When asked about the model that Hungary’s Sovereignty Protection Office closely resembles, Lánczi pointed to the Misinformation Prevention Office in Romania or the EU’s office in Brussels that detects attempts of external influence. He highlighted that similar regulatory systems against foreign economic influence, safeguarding national, economic, or primarily corporate interests, have been established by both the United Kingdom and France.
In conclusion, Tamás Lánczi asserted that any rational state fiercely defends its sovereignty with all available means.
Source: Hungarian Conservative/M1/MTI