The recent summit of European Union leaders was a successful one for the Visegrad Group and central Europe, the incoming justice minister told a joint session of parliament’s EU affairs and justice committees on Thursday. The summit centring on nominations for top EU posts demonstrated clearly that central Europe’s stance must be considered in European decision-making, Judit Varga, who is in charge of EU affairs, said. She said it had become clear at the summit that “the old routine of the largest EU member states dividing up posts among themselves does not work anymore.” Varga hailed the success of the V4 at the EU summit, saying those that formed alliances and stood up for their own interests while representing them consistently achieved their desired outcomes. A new era has begun in Europe, Varga said, adding that the bloc now had a chance to “correct certain mistakes” in areas such as economic policy, migration and the rule of law. She said the EU’s success lay in maintaining a community that respects nation states and cooperation based on mutual respect. Varga said that the solution to migration must be for the long term and take into consideration the interests of all countries. Member states should not be punished if their response to migration diverges from the mainstream, she added.
Meanwhile, she said the EU should take its enlargement policy more seriously, adding that a larger EU was needed without deepening integration. Regarding the EU budget, she said that quality was more important than speed. Further, current disputes over the rule of law should be concluded rather than new tools created to handle them, she said.
Referring to changes in the Hungarian government, she said it was logical to put judicial and EU affairs under one roof, since most EU legislation has an impact on the national legal system. Varga has been nominated by the prime minister for the post of justice minister. She is to replace László Trócsanyi, who will take up his post as an MEP in Brussels. On domestic matters, Varga said it was important to prevent overregulation and cut red tape in order to boost competitiveness.
The justice committee supported Varga’s nomination with 8 votes for and 2 against, while the EU affairs committee voted 6 – 2 in her favour.