“It is not necessary to create a European Public Prosecutor’s Office, as we already have the framework within which action can be taken against corruption” Minister of Justice László Trócsányi declared after negotiations with his Dutch counterpart Ard van der Steur in The Hague on 5 December 2016.
Following the meeting, the Minister informed Hungarian News Agency MTI via telephone that his position concerning the issue was the same as that of the Dutch Minister, who, following the relevant legislative decision, was likely to cast a no vote on setting up the Office.
During the meeting, Ard van der Steur said that the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament had asked the government not to support the creation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Senate was expected to make a similar decision on Tuesday.
One of the underlying reasons is that they both believe that there are institutions already, for example Eurojust, the EU organisation for prosecution cooperation, acting against criminal acts violating the financial interests of the EU. The creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office would definitely weaken the position of those institutions, “which is unacceptable for the Netherlands and also undesirable in Hungary”, Mr. Trócsányi said.
He added that that the Swedish Parliament had recently adopted a similar resolution and “in both Hungary and Poland there are ongoing debates on whether it is necessary to create the Prosecutor’s Office”.
The Minister declared that action against corruption is of fundamental importance at both European and international level; however, he was not sure that the solution was “setting up new institutions one after the other”. He thought that the “furore of integration” should be somewhat restrained and instead, we needed a break to assess the results achieved so far.
The bilateral meeting also addressed the tasks facing the Dutch and Hungarian Ministries of Justice, the importance of victim protection and the issue of migration crisis. Regarding the latter, Trócsányi emphasised that solidarity could be interpreted in many different ways and one of its manifestations was that Hungary was protecting its own and also the European community’s borders.
Trócsányi László also had discussions in The Hague with several members of the Dutch Parliament, including the Chairs of the Security and Justice Committees of the House of Representatives, as well as Jaap de Zwaan, Professor of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
The delegation led by the Minister of Justice of Hungary was also received by the Argentinian President of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi and Judge Péter Kovács, the Hungarian member of the Court. The parties discussed the challenges ahead of the ICC, as well as important topics related to cooperation. László Trócsányi is the first Hungarian minister to visit the Court’s premises.
As part of his multilateral programme, Mr. Trócsányi also met the Registrar of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Philippe Couvreur, as well as Vladislav Hamran, Vice-President and László Venczl, Hungarian National Member of Eurojust, the organisation coordinating investigations and prosecutions among EU Member States. The Minister also paid a visit to the Hungarian Eurojust liaison office.
(Ministry of Justice)