Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban replied in a letter to President of the European Parliament David Sassoli who invited him to the plenary debate on Hungary to be held in the European Parliament on Thursday, Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief informed the Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday.
Orban highlighted that at this time he was focusing all his strength and energies on the containment of the epidemic. Therefore, on behalf of the Hungarian government, Minister for Justice and EU Affairs Judit Varga will be able to attend the debate.
The Prime Minister also drew the EP President’s attention to the fact that on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union a state secretary will attend, Havasi added. With regard to this, Orban asked the President of the European Parliament to give Justice Minister Judit Varga an opportunity to speak at the debate.
David Sassoli didn’t speak about the matter at the European Parliament’s plenary session, but Jaume Duch, the parliament’s spokesman told a press conference that according to the established practice, only heads of state or government can speak at the debates. Only the member state which holds the presidency can be represented by a minister or state secretary, who in this case represents a European institution and not their member state.
Both the head of the Fidesz-KDNP EP-delegation, Tamas Deutsch and Judit Varga heavily criticised Sassoli’s decision on Wednesday. “All the principles of the rule of law, due process and democracy require that the EP not stand in the way of my speech in Brussels,” Varga wrote on Facebook. “We find it morally reprehensible that European left-wing factions want to debate the Hungarian rule of law again when thousands of people die and millions lose their jobs in Europe due to the pandemic,” she added.
Source: Hungary Journal