EU must respect constitutional identity of member states: Hungarian minister

Judit Varga, Hungarian Minister of Justice, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP), assessed the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court (TK) regarding the relationship between EU law and domestic law as “a milestone and an important moment in the history of the EU.”

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“For us it is a very important milestone and an important moment in the history of the EU. It must be said openly that there are areas where the Union cannot interfere and must always respect the constitutional identity of the member states, their own cultural traditions and constitutional system,” Ms Varga stressed.

As a lawyer, she recognised that the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court was “fundamentally misinterpreted and used for political attacks” in the European media. In her opinion, the Court made “an unequivocal decision to distinguish between EU and national law at the point of collision, and put a barrier to the imperial aspirations of Brussels.”

“We are witnesses that recently the EU institutions without the treaty power of attorney are constantly interfering in such matters that are not within the competence of the EU,” she pointed out, adding that “the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court” is an important precedent.”

She believes that there is a “very strong left-wing narrative in the political spectrum and in the media” in Europe, especially in the West, and it puts pressure on those European countries with highly legitimate conservative governments “trying to soberly understand membership.”

Referring to the hearing in the CJEU on the conditionality mechanism, challenged by Poland and Hungary, she expressed the hope that the Court would be able to make a decision without prejudice and objectively and that it would not be influenced by pressure from the EP.

“Let us not delude ourselves. The mechanism dependent on the rule of law has absolutely nothing to do with the law... We argue, in fact, about values ​​- in Central Europe we think differently about the family, about national identity, about migration,” she stressed.

When asked about how to permanently resolve disputes over competences in the EU, she replied that “democracy is the only option to help in this situation, and common sense as well.”

“Democracy is the highest value also on the basis of EU treaties. If the policy pursued by the government of a member state in compliance with EU regulations serves the growth, prosperity and survival of the nation, citizens will also support it in the long run,” she said, adding that “common sense, on the other hand, will allow anyone to judge what the situation is in their own country.”

“If there is always a balance between what leads to common success and what fosters the success of the community while remaining in the hands of the Member States, and if such good judgments are made by constitutional courts, then in the long term the Union may be successful. Otherwise it will become multinational, a top-down enterprise that will lose its national colours and identity,” Ms Varga concluded.

On her social media, the minister published the Hungarian government’s decree on the country’s position towards the ruling of the Polish Court, stressing that “we stand with Poland.”

Last week, Poland’s top Constitutional Court (TK) issued a judgment on the principle of the supremacy of EU law over national law. The judges ruled that several articles of the EU treaties were inconsistent with the Polish Constitution, questioning the primacy of European Union legislation.

The Court argued that as long as the EU bodies operate within the framework of the delegated powers and as long as the new stage of intra-EU cooperation does not result in depriving the Polish Constitution of its supremacy, Poland retains the functions of a sovereign and democratic state.