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The reason behind the European Commission’s recent decision to sue Hungary over the “Stop Soros” package of laws is that the outgoing body “aims to cement its policies in its remaining months”, the PM’s office chief has said.

EC President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, however, is capable of easing divisions within the European Union, Gergely Gulyás said at a regular press briefing. The government also believes she could create consensus among member states and define the bloc’s shared values, he said, noting that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is scheduled to meet Von der Leyen for private talks on Thursday, and underlining the Hungarian government’s continued confidence in the EC president-elect. He said the two leaders could potentially cover any variety of topics. Hungary respects the incoming EC chief’s authority to decide on the makeup of the new commission, he added.

Commenting on reports that Von der Leyen may appoint Frans Timmermans EC vice-president responsible for upholding the rule of law, Gulyás said the Hungarian government would respect the EC head’s decisions. The goal for Europe to have a leading body that sees the continent’s interests as a priority, he said. Measures in the past five years have shown different intentions, however, and “Timmermans definitely belongs to that circle,” he said.