On 29 September 2021, seven members of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee visited Hungary, spending three days here, with the (official) aim of “getting information about local conditions” and getting an idea of whether the situation of the rule of law in Hungary had changed since the start of the Article 7 proceedings against us in 2018. However, the delegation’s visit presumably also had a hidden purpose, as they came to investigate roughly six months before the elections, and during their stay they contacted a number of opposition politicians and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) funded by George Soros, including Amnesty International, the Helsinki Committee, Transparency International, Menedék, the Hungarian Association for Migrants, and the Hungarian LGBT Association, who, driven by political and economic interests, have called for the overthrow of the national conservative government. Suspicion already aroused at the presentation of the delegation’s program that one of the purposes of the visit might be to intervene in the elections.
The presumption seems to be justified, as according to the head of the delegation, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, the Hungarian system is a kind of one-party system, and there is doubt about the fairness of the elections. She told the Euronews news channel about Hungary that “a single party has appointed its people everywhere, from the media and the judiciary to universities”. For the liberal MEP, there is doubt about the fairness of the elections, because “the opposition is never provided time in public service media, it can never reach the voters directly because it is not on TV or on the radio. It can only be found in independent, alternative media”, which, according to LIBE members, could be a barrier to a fair election.
The Hungarian political left usually accuses the right-wing government of a one-party system and dictatorship. When a Brussels bureaucrat of French origin speaks of Hungary in such and similar ways, she does nothing but hitches her wagon to the Hungarian left, and in this case, she campaigns for the united opposition on the international stage, pushing all considerations of principles and moral considerations into the background. A one-party system is a political system based on the exclusive power of a single party, where there is no pluralism, no free elections, and the power of the political forces governing the state does not come from the members of their nation but mostly from the power and violence they exert.
Hungary is an independent democratic state under the rule of law. The form of government is a republic, and the source of public power is the people [Fundamental Law, Article B) (1)-(3)]. Members of the National Assembly are elected every four years based on universal and equal suffrage in a direct and secret ballot, in elections which guarantee the free expression of the will of the voters [Fundamental Law, Article 2, (1) and (3)]. Among the principles to be enforced during the application of the rules of the electoral procedure, Article 2 (1) of Act XXXVI of 2013 on Electoral Procedure (Ve.) lists first the protection of the fairness of elections, and then the voluntary participation in the electoral procedure. All this confirms that the concerns of the head of the LIBE delegation and the allegations she has made in connection with the elections are unfounded.
As for further critical remarks, the President of the Curia, the President of the National Office for the Judiciary and even the Prosecutor General are elected by the National Assembly on the proposal of the President of the Republic. Article 3 of Act CLXI of 2011 on the organisation and administration of courts (Bszi.) declares that judges and lay judges are independent, make decisions in accordance with their convictions based on legislation, and shall not be influenced or instructed in connection with their judicial activity. In international comparison Germany should be highlighted, where the judges are appointed by the Minister of Justice in some provinces, and at federal level the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Finance Court are also governed by the Federal Minister of Justice. On this basis, courts in Hungary are more independent than, for example, in Germany, but no constant concerns about the rule of law is expressed against the largest economy in Europe.
The President of the National Media and Communications Authorities (NMHH) is appointed by the President of the Republic, which automatically makes the President candidate for President of the Media Council. However, to hold this office, the consent of a two-third majority of the members of the National Assembly is required. The Media Council is an independent body of the NMHH, the regulatory authority of the media market, the chairman and four members of which are elected by the parliament for nine years, by a two-third majority of the members present. Government decision 1527/2021 (VIII.2) stipulates that real pluralism prevails in the media in Hungary. In contrast to the Western European media environment, which is largely dominated by left-wing and liberal media channels, the Hungarian condition is more balanced, as all political views and trends can reach the public.
University rectors and professors are also assigned and appointed by the President of the Republic and not by “one party” [Fundamental Law, Article 9 (4) c)-d)], and the President of the Republic is elected by the National Assembly and not by “one party” or the government [Fundamental Law, Article 10 (1)].
Delbos-Corfield believes that one of the reasons for the conflict between the EU and the Hungarian government is that, according to the Hungarian government, there are several definitions of the rule of law, while the EU is based on the fact that the rule of law is not a matter of perspective.
Should it be derived from the Rechtsstaat or the rule of law, as it is known, the rule of law does not have a uniformly accepted definition, it has elements which are included as immanent criteria, such as free elections, a multi-party system or freedom of expression and the press. We have all of these in Hungary, but while we have a constitutional court, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Sweden and, although they are not EU members, the United Kingdom and Norway do not have this democratic institution, and they are not accused of jeopardising the rule of law. Rather, the source of the debate is that some use legal terminology for political purposes and agitate with allegations against the governments of Member States that do not follow the EU narrative.
In light of the above, it is no exaggeration to say that the subject of the committee’s visit is not in fact the rule of law, but a certain difference in values and ideology, so the delegation’s current aim is not to “measure” democracy but rather to intervene in the 2022 Hungarian elections, as pointed out by several leading analytical institutes and experts. The delegation’s three-day stay in Hungary, and the report that will be published afterwards, serve the campaign goals of the European left instead of enforcing the rule of law. During the “fact-finding visit”, they discussed topics, mostly with government-critical actors, for which they have unalterable preconceptions, thus we can almost certainly say that the members of the political body consisting mostly of left-wing representatives, will come to the – pre-written and false – conclusion that democracy has disappeared in Hungary, and the prevalence of basic rights can only be seen in traces. This would give the globalist European left a basis for even more intense attacks and pressure to punish Hungary in the Council and the Commission.
It is worth highlighting that on 10 October 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on foreign interference in elections and disinformation regarding national and European democratic processes, paragraph 3 of which states that the EP “reiterates that foreign intervention in elections undermines the right of people to have a say in the governance of their country, either directly or through their freely elected representatives, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and when it is done by another state, it violates international law even if it is not by force or by a threat to territorial integrity or political independence.” Continuing its interventional intrigues, the EP can easily contradict itself, undermining its own prestige among EU citizens.