Sven Giegold
Member of the European Parliament – Greens/EFA Group

Speaker of the German Green Delegation

Hungary/Von der Leyen: Move from talk to action! The attacks on the rule of law must not remain without consequences

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today (Wednesday, 7.7.2021) sharply criticised the repeated attacks on the rule of law in Hungary in the session of the European Parliament. Sven Giegold, spokesperson for the German Greens in the European Parliament, said:

“It is good that von der Leyen wants to take action against the dismantling of the rule of law in Hungary. However, von der Leyen did not announce one new actual measure. The basic problem in dealing with rule of law problems in EU countries is a lack of consequences. The EU Commission does too little and acts too slowly. Not only in Hungary, but also in Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus. The EU Commission’s hesitant and inconsistent action will not stop any government in Europe from undermining the rule of law. There is no analysis problem, but an action deficit.

There are three ECJ rulings against Hungary on which the EU Commission could now seek penalties. ECJ rulings against Hungary must no longer remain inconsequential. The EU Commission must consistently enforce European law. Enforcing the law includes imposing sanctions. When it comes to the rule of law, we must not only look at Hungary. The parties in the European Parliament have also been looking the other way for years when it comes to democrats and fundamental rights issues in their own party family‘s governments. Party loyalty must not take precedence over Europe’s basic principles. Europe must take action against attacks on the rule of law and democracy in all EU countries. To this end, the available instruments must be used consistently.”

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