October 29, 2020

Brussels promises to monitor if Hungary removes emergency measures by COVID



The vice president of the European Commission for Securities and Transparency, Vera Jourová, promised on Thursday that the EU Executive will monitor whether Hungary is progressively eliminating restrictive measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which have raised concerns in Brussels.

In an appearance before the European Parliament on these measures, widely criticized by human rights organizations and by the Hungarian opposition, Jourová said that the EU as a whole is entering a new phase in the fight against the virus “in which certain measures to protect public health, they will gradually relax. “

“This new phase means that general states of emergency that give governments exceptional powers must be phased out or replaced with more specific and less intrusive measures,” Jourová said.

“The Commission will monitor how measures affecting the rule of law or fundamental rights are being phased out in the Member States. This is especially important for Hungary, given that its state of emergency has no clear time limit,” added the commissioner.

Jourová pointed out that the situation in Hungary is particularly worrying for Brussels because the special powers are not clearly limited in time and are less defined, so “they appear to be broader than in other member states.”

The days leading up to the debate were marked by the clash between the Presidency of the Parliament and the Hungarian Government after the Minister of Justice of this country, Judit Varga, asked to intervene in the debate to defend the position of the Hungarian Government.

The European Parliament denied him participation, alluding to a matter of customary protocol whereby the Prime Minister should represent Hungary in this type of debate, not a Minister.

The president of the Eurochamber, David Sassoli, invited Orbán to travel to Brussels to defend the position of the Hungarian government, but the president refused to go to the chamber because he was working on managing the health crisis in his country.

Finally, Orbán’s party, Fidesz, has been represented in the debate through MEP Andor Deli, who was awarded the first of the speaking turns of the debate by the European People’s Party, which is usually used by group leaders, despite the fact that Fidesz is suspended from membership in the formation.

PPE sources told Efe that the suspension of Fidesz does not eliminate his right to participate in the plenary sessions, although they pointed out that Deli spoke only on behalf of the Hungarian delegation and that other deputies of the group, such as the Luxembourgish Christophe Hansen, expressed the position. opposite.

In his speech, Deli accused the “MEP” of the left of attacking Hungary “every month” and criticized that “there is no point in holding empty ideological debates”, while asking “to focus on what matters to citizens” and recalled that the Commission “has not determined any violation of the rules” in Hungary at the moment.

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