On 10 October 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution stating that foreign interference in the elections violates the right of people to have a say directly in the governance of their country, or through their elected representatives. Nevertheless, the European Commission is repeatedly showing the opposite approach in the run-up to the 2022 Hungarian elections.
On 29 September 2021, the left-liberal delegation of the LIBE Committee visited Hungary to get information about the rule of law in Hungary. The delegation was led by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, a French Green MEP who replaced Judith Sargentini in the Committee. The delegation consisted of seven members, five of whom were sharp critics of Hungary. During the visit, the delegation consulted leading politicians from all opposition parties. When the visit ended, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield questioned the fairness of the elections in advance, saying that the opposition would not get the possibility to appear in the public media, significantly reducing the chances of the left reaching out to the citizens directly. In reality, the freedom of the press and the implementation of pluralistic mass media is guaranteed by legislation in Hungary.
As we have pointed out in a previous analysis, it is the European Commission that intends to interfere in the work of the press, violating the fundamental right of access to information and freedom of the press by providing significant support for setting up fact-checking committees in the world with people having exclusively left-wing views. This is well illustrated by the fact that the openly anti-government Magyar Jeti Zrt. and publisher of 444 and Qubit, has received the funding.
This is how we got to the set of proposals outlined by the European Commission, which was published today. On 25 November 2021, the European Commission submitted a proposal on the transparency and targeting of political advertising activities. The measure officially aims to protect electoral integrity and open democratic debate. The European Commission usually stands up for the ideology of an open society under the guise of a double standard, advocating the protection of democracy. Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, head of the LIBE delegation, which visited Hungary at the end of September, said after the visit in Strasbourg that next year’s elections would possibly not be fair. Although Jourová stated that they would not interfere in the Hungarian elections, we may have grounds for doubt: On the one hand, she confirmed Delbos-Corfield’s claim that “there are red flags regarding the fairness of the Hungarian elections”. On the other hand, although the European Parliament adopted a resolution on rejecting intervention, only entities linked to the left have been entrusted with the censorship of digital media in Hungary.
The latest EC proposal, which is to be presented to the EP and the Council as a next step, can be interpreted as one of the consequences of the LIBE visit and the continuation of the establishment of HDMO. The aim of the EC is that the new rules enter into force and are fully implemented by Member States in the spring of 2023, one year before the 2024 EP elections, so that they are already held according to those included in the new set of proposals. In addition, the aim is to make European parties visible at Member State level as well. The problem is that the activities of European parties must be limited to the European Union and not to the nation states, as treating the European parties as national organizations goes against the principle of subsidiarity, including the TEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).