Highly respected experts, such as former Constitutional Court Justice István Stumpf, Gadi Taub, Senior Lecturer at the Federmann School of public policy from Israel, and James Allen of the University of Queensland in Australia, shared their views on the controversial concept of ‘rule of law’. Their lectures were followed by a discussion between State Secretary for European Affairs János Bóka and Ákos Bence Gát, head of foreign affairs at the Danube Institute.
Nigel Biggar’s recently published book titled Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning is a Sunday Times bestseller. The book is a unique analysis of Western colonialism, and a sober assessment of all the bad and good that the British Colonial Empire stood for. Without hiding the injustices and violence committed by the Empire, Nigel Biggar argues that the Empire was not the embodiment of pure evil.
While officially, the conference’s main agenda point was the shadow rapporteurs on the current state of the rule of law in Hungary, more time was devoted to Hungary’s Council of the EU presidency set to happen in 2024, a concept none of the MEPs was thrilled about. The ongoing negotiations about releasing the frozen EU funds were often talked about as well.
It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the Court of Justice of the European Union created the principle of primacy of EU law from scratch. Although nowadays the mainstream considers this idea unchallengeable, the task of the constitutional courts is precisely to promote the development of a healthy balance by strengthening the principle of constitutional identity. By finding a balance, the tension between the legal systems of the Member States and EU law might also become reconcilable.
‘We cannot look at the European Union as those who must be listened to and must always have the best solutions in a suitcase to Bucharest or Warsaw,’ Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki stressed in Bucharest.
Hungary’s commitments under the new rule of law framework should serve as a model for the whole EU, states State Secretary János Bóka. An interview about the so-called rule of law debate, the growing political pressure of the European Parliament and the Hungarian Child Protection Act.
The payment of EU funds allocated to Hungary in the 2021–2027 budget cycle was suspended in December 2022. The suspension, however, does not mean a loss of resources. In other words, the path is clear for Hungary: defying the political headwind, it can set a model for the EU as a whole, as to how its financial interests can be protected by means of the rule of law.
Rodrigo Ballester of MCC Budapest warns that we should expect even stronger pressure on gender issues from the EU in the near future. This case underscores the importance of paying close attention to the fine print of EU contracts, as seemingly minor details can have significant impacts on the allocation of funds.
Last April, the overwhelming majority of Hungarian people voted against the left-wing opposition in favour of the current government party, conscious that it promised to protect Hungary’s peace and security above all—even if the excisemen of the war would have it otherwise.
‘A major theme of the classical law is that the law should be stable over time and protect traditional expectations about how human life is arranged and how society is conducted. Liberalism by contrast is a doctrine of perpetual disruption and instability, constantly trying to find new frontiers by which traditional societies, and traditional morality can be disrupted.’
While Europe was busy disciplining Hungary and Poland, the far-left Socialist government of Spain, preparing for re-election, surreptitiously smuggled its politicians into the Constitutional Court.
The Commission’s own studies do not justify the profound concerns about corruption and the rule of law in Hungary that the EC tends to cite during the negotiations.
In an exclusive presentation at MCC, Minister Tibor Navracsics addressed the question of the EU Recovery Funds, as well as the current state of the negotiations between Brussels and Budapest.
Of course, violations of the rule of law must not lead to corruption or abuse of power in the member states. However, a schematic “transfer” of the institutions that serve the rule of law to the EU level could particularly endanger the essence of the rule of law.
Brussels’ ongoing battle with Poland and Hungary over the supposed rule-of-law violations shows why we might need to rethink the whole integration project
Hungary is sending a clear message: no one shall try to enter the EU through Hungary illegally, it will not be successful.
The societal offensive undertaken by the European Commission must be contextualized within a more subtle mutation, implicit in the recent history of the Old Continent.
Hungarian Conservative is a bimonthly magazine on contemporary political, philosophical and cultural issues from a conservative perspective.