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Leftist takes on EU funding talks ’on the home stretch’

November 14th, 2022

A left-wing columnist and a liberal weekly doubt if the government really wants to meet the requirements set for the release of suspended EU transfers.

Népszava’s Péter Németh wonders if the government has convinced the EU that it fulfils all the requirements necessary for the transfer of suspended EU funds. The left-wing commentator is skeptical about a statement by Tibor Navracsics, the cabinet minister in charge of the use of EU funds, that a deal is to be made soon. Németh also recalls a previous statement by Mr Navracsics acknowledging that the EU does not fully trust the Hungarian government’s efforts to implement all the required policies. As Németh sees it, the EU has realized that the Hungarian government will comply only as long as it is under pressure to do so, but will renege on its promises as soon as it is possible to do so.

In a sarcastic first-page editorial, Magyar Narancs welcomes the EU demand to force the Hungarian government to ‘keep its hands off the National Judicial Council (OBT)’. The liberal weekly recalls that the government wanted to weaken the OBT’s right to veto appointments of judges as well as their replacement. Such judicial autonomy should be taken for granted in any normal democracy, Magyar Narancs writes, before accusing the Hungarian government of only respecting the principle of the independence of the judiciary if the EU threatens to withhold funds.

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