Justice Minister Judit Varga, in an op-ed in German newspaper Die Welt’s news portal, has taken the government’s critics to task for “demonising Hungary”. In the current circumstances that involve combatting the coronavirus epidemic and handling Brexit, “consensus-building and cooperation are more important today than ever before,” Varga wrote.
Yet Germany’s Minister of State for European Affairs Michael Roth, in a recent op-ed for Die Welt, “built an image of the enemy … the enemy being Hungary,” she added. Allegedly, Hungary did not abide by European values such as democracy and the rule of law, according to Roth, she noted, adding that she was tempted to explain in detail “how wrong” his views were, “but I have done this many times and in many forums…”
Varga said European values were “shared and self-evident” yet had become “a political tool” that fostered divisions instead of unity. She noted that EU decision-making such as agreeing on a multi-annual financial framework required the complete consensus of all member states. Varga questioned how Roth could hope for a consensus by openly seeking to create an instrument aimed at punishing a member state.
She said Germany had often successfully assumed the role of a neutral mediator in difficult situations, adding that the country could continue to count on Hungary as a “stable partner and an ally” with “closely shared interests and values”.