Tag Archives: Judith Sargentini

“Anti-Hungary lobby”strikes again

“The anti-Hungary, pro-migration lobby is back” reads the statement of State Secretary of Hungarian government Zoltán Kovács.

 
Certain elements in the European Parliament remain determined to make Hungary pay for staunchly opposing their pro-immigration agenda and for insisting upon defending Europe’s Schengen border. This is what today’s hearing is all about.

Following a recent initiative by Finland, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, a representative of the Hungarian Government is due to appear at a hearing today in Brussels before an expert committee within the framework of the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary.

For those who don’t recall: almost exactly one year ago, the European Parliament passed a report, drafted by former Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini, (pictured) on the state of Hungary’s rule of law, intent on tying EU cohesion and structural funding to an arbitrary list of “requirements”. In essence, the report regurgitates a laundry list of all the criticisms that Europe’s liberals have thrown at the Orbán Governments since 2010 – including many that Hungary has already resolved with the Commission or other European institutions and more than a few that simply do not fall under the authority of the European Union.

It’s the same left-liberal forces that now want to take revenge on Hungary for standing up against the influx of immigrants and insisting that Europe’s Schengen border be secured. They consider it dangerous and contrary to European values when we insist that the future of Europe depends on protecting our European, Christian way of life and they attempt to silence anyone who opposes their pro-immigration agenda.

“I don’t like that the European way of life is opposed to migration,” said outgoing EC President Jean-Claude Juncker in an interview last week following the announcement of the new Commission portfolios.

That betrays the Juncker Commission’s true colors. It’s an ideologically-driven agenda that the voters of Hungary have rejected more than once.

We welcome with great expectations the new Commission. Following the May European Parliamentary Elections, Hungary and the Visegrád Four have gained in strength in the bloc. As Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced last Tuesday, two of the incoming European Commission’s Vice-Presidents hail from Czech Republic and Slovakia. Meanwhile, the Polish candidate will oversee agriculture, one of the most important EU policy areas, and the Hungarian Commissioner, László Trócsányi, has been nominated to lead neighborhood policy and EU enlargement.

The tides have turned, it seems.

While we have high hopes for the new Commission and have great confidence in incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, let’s not kid ourselves about the next several weeks. This period will define our relationship for the length of the next Commission’s term. We hope and have reason to believe that, unlike Jean-Claude Juncker, Ms. Leyen will understand what Prime Minister Orbán means when he says that for him, Hungarians come first.” 

 

Orban blames EU witch hunt

Prime Minister Viktor Orban denounced the EU “witch hunt” in an open debate over democracy and the rule of law in his country, which took place this week at European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg.

MEPs will vote on September 12 whether the launch a reprimand against Hungary in what would be the most significant attack on Orban’s right-wing anti-illegal immigration government by the EU. It would also mark the first time Parliament has invoked Article 7, the EU tool  designed to denounce human rights abuses.

Article 7 of the Treaty of European Union is a procedure in the legal endeavor of the EU to suspend certain rights from a member state.While rights can be suspended, there is no mechanism to expel a member.

Orban, who won a third consecutive term in power this year, has been conducting a consequent policy of border protection, causing an argument with  the EU leaders over his country’s stance on illegal immigration policies and for the pressure on democratic institutions — including civic organizations, the media and academic centre while Orban consolidated power – accusations he vehemently denied, blaming EU lack of objective vision, based on individual trips of the rapporteur MEP Judith Sargentini to Hungary. No EU fact-finding mission has been send to Hungary so far.
Orban underlined that Hungary did not change, being loyal to European values, and protecting borders thus protecting citizens from traffic of illegal migrants. Ensuring security of its citizens is a prime obligation of a state his government conducted upon the democratic mandate, and in line with the EU laws.
AMENDMENT:
MEP Judith Sargentini report adopted by European Parliament:
The European Union parliament’s decision to start a punitive procedure against Hungary is the “petty revenge” of pro-immigration politicians against Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said, commenting on the outcome of the vote.

MEPs attack terrorist financing

paris-attack-bataclan

MEPs have declined the EU Commission blacklist of countries deemed to be at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, pointing that it is not coherent with the scale of the problme, and should be expanded to include territories that facilitate tax crimes. The document was retured to the EC after this week EP pleanry vote.

“The strength of the vote reflects the strength of feeling in Parliament about the inadequacy of this current list. We now hope that the Commission will be more ambitious in its revisions, so as to create a blacklist which is fit-for-purpose” – commented  Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL) repsonsible for the document, pointing at the vote results: 393 votes to 67 votes, with 210 abstentions.

 “A country should be placed on the ‘blacklist’ only when there is clear evidence of a systematic threat of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Commission needs to have a straightforward and transparent algorithm that can withstand public scrutiny.” -said  Krišjānis Karins (EPP, LV) – co-rapporteur.

The Commission lists eleven countries, including  Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Syria, which it judges to be deficient in countering money laundering and terrorist financing. People and legal entities from blacklisted countries face tougher than usual checks when doing business in the EU.

Following the vote, an existing inventory of third countries thought to fall short in the area of anti-money laundering and terrorism finance will remain in force while the Commission considers any revisions.