Judit Varga, Minister of Justice of Hungary. Image courtesy of the Ministry.

Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit Varga, has been rudely blocked from presenting her government’s views regarding recent emergency measures implemented to control the outbreak of COVID-19 in her country.

Varga has twice requested an opportunity to present her government’s views on the measures at a meeting originally scheduled to take place Wednesday, 13 May, but then re-scheduled for the next day. But European Parliament President David Sassoli has arrogantly dismissed the Minister’s requests and, instead, has condescendingly suggested that if Hungary truly wants to present its views, then Prime Minister Viktor Orbán should attend in her stead.

The European Commission and the European Council are both slated to participate in the discussions, and are expected to make their own statements in regards to Hungary’s controversial measures, which were previously reported on here.

Hungary’s measures, which are quite similar to measures implemented in other countries in response to the unprecedented global pandemic, have been widely criticized by progressives and the international Left, who have tried to portray them as an example of growing totalitarianism in the country. In April, the European Parliament even approved a resolution that condemns Hungary’s measures, calling them “incompatible with European values.” But given an opportunity to hear directly from Hungary’s own Justice Minister, the Eurocrats in Brussels have declined, seeking instead ways to force the Prime Minister to present himself.

As Minister Varga herself tweeted on 12 May: “What is the difference [between] a debate and lynching? Democracy, equal treatment, due process.”

On the Ministry’s website, the following short statement regarding the measures has been posted:

Legal background of measures taken in relation to the COVID 19 outbreak in EU Member States

The COVID-19 human pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge to the European Union and its Member States. Ordinary solutions and traditional approaches have manifestly proven inadequate.

The Hungarian Ministry of Justice prepared a comparative chart on the constitutional and legal background of the extraordinary measures taken in relation to the COVID 19 outbreak in EU Member States. The intention was not to question and judge solutions adopted by Member States but to understand the framework in which they operate.

The chart has been circulated among Member States and a number of comments and suggestions have been included in the final version.

The exercise clearly shows not only the great variety of approaches adopted depending on the constitutional traditions of the respective Member States but also the feasibility of such intergovernmental peer review mechanism and its operation in practice.