The European Commission's refusal to approve Hungary's recovery plans until legal reforms have been carried out in the member state and a guarantee given that corruption cases will be investigated has been met with incomprehension by the Co-Chairmen of the European Conservative and Reformists Group (ECR) in the European Parliament, Prof Ryszard Legutko and Raffaele Fitto. According to the Conservatives, governments that are critical or even opposed to further federalisation of the EU are penalised more than others. The ECR Group has long accused the Commission of applying such double standards.
Responding to an interview with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders in which he announced that he would ask Hungary and Poland to join the planned European Public Prosecutor’s office, and to a letter sent by Reynders to the Polish government in Warsaw which demands a response to the EU Court of Justice’s rulings on interim measures by August 16, Prof Legutko said:
“The Commission is once again unpacking instruments of torture with which to bully those national governments that protect lifestyles that contradict the supposed European majority. It turns a blind eye to those countries that do not question its omnipotence so openly, but only covertly.
“It is clear that two completely different perceptions are colliding here. For us conservative Europeans, the current EU treaties, but also the sovereignty of our states and national democracies, are the measure of all things.”
ECR Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto added:
“From our national conservative point of view, we can say: for us, national courts have the final say on matters that concern the heart of our national democracies, not Brussels.”
At the same time, conservative governments also have to deal with excessive criticism from more left-wing media, ECR Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto said.
“It would do all Europeans good to take a more sober look at conditions in states that Brussels and the ‘pro-Europeans’ accuse of inexcusable deviations from the mainstream.”
Also reacting to the recent demands by Renew Europe group leader Dacian Cioloş that the EU Commission only pay EU bailout money to “honest and deserving Hungarians”, Prof Legutko said:
“Mr Cioloş is taking liberties by dividing Europeans into good or bad and accusing democratically elected conservative governments of having criminal intentions. We believe that the final decision on which governments are deserving of citizens’ trust should still lie with the citizens themselves.”