Justice Minister Judit Varga told a meeting involving European affairs ministers that “double standards” regarding the rule of law were “unacceptable”. Varga insisted that the European Commission applied different standards on the appointment procedure to media authorities. In Hungary’s case, a qualified majority of MPs is required to make appointments whereas in Belgium and Denmark the government appoints officials directly, she said at a meeting of the Council of the European Union. Also, the Media Pluralism Monitor co-funded by the European Union only cites problems in Hungary while turning a blind eye to media concentration issues in Belgium and Denmark, Varga added.
Varga, meanwhile, objected to the justice ministers of Belgium and Denmark having the power to intervene into the affairs of the public prosecutor in individual cases. Further, in Denmark, she said, the selection of judges and the administration of the courts was not overseen by an independent body. Whereas the European Commission failed to raise this concern, it cited “at length” shortcomings regarding judicial oversight in Hungary, she added. Varga accused the commission of applying double standards. “For them the rule of law is only worth raising to blackmail [Hungary] politically and ideologically.”