The European Parliament should be focused on its own lawful functioning instead of “lecturing” EU member states, an MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party has said. “It is hypocritical of the European Parliament to be lecturing member states in a snooty tone on their coronavirus response measures while being the only parliament in Europe that is unable to guarantee the conditions needed for it to function properly and lawfully,” Balázs Hidvéghi said in a statement addressing an EP debate on the effect of Covid-19 response measures on democracy and fundamental rights. Noting that all of assembly’s sessions were being conducted online, the Fidesz MEP insisted that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic had “paralysed” the EP. “This raises serious doubts about the institution’s lawful functioning,” he said.
Hidvéghi called it “outrageous” that, “even amid these conditions”, the EP was “still preoccupied with lecturing member states on the kind of measures they should enact”. Hidvéghi noted that Hungary had been “on the receiving end of an unprecedented series of attacks” over the enhanced powers that had been granted to the government with a view to containing the spread of the virus. “These attacks included lies such as parliament having been suspended,” he said. “Interestingly enough, the most recent report issued by a Socialist politician does not contain these accusations,” Hidvéghi said. “In other words, the EP itself is admitting that it went too far in the spring by making false claims about Hungary turning into a dictatorship.” Hidvéghi called on Hungary’s left-wing MEPs and the EP as a whole to focus more on mounting a defence against the pandemic rather than hindering it.