Following a meeting of EU ministers for EU affairs in Brussels on Tuesday, Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office Szabolcs Takács said that it is important for the European Commission and Poland to continue dialogue on the problems raised.

Hungary, however, sees it as inappropriate that the Commission is submitting “divisive proposals” to the Council.

Mr. Takács underlined that in the end the mood during the debate on the situation in Poland had not been particularly adversarial. The Government of Hungary, however, is fundamentally opposed to “anyone using the rule of law mechanism in order to drag certain Member States before the Council”.

The Minister of State said that the rule of law mechanism was established “with the aim of discussing the state of the rule of law in the European Union, based on a consensually accepted system of principles”. Making certain Member States give an account of their own domestic issues in front of the Council, however, is something “on which we have not agreed and will not agree” , he said.

“Hungary’s policy of standing by Poland on this issue has never been in question”, Mr. Takács said at the press conference.

He added that every participant considered it important for Brussels and Warsaw to continue dialogue. “We hope that this will lead to a result which will reassure every party involved”, Mr. Takács said.

In answer to a question, he said that other countries also agreed with Hungary on this issue: similar comments were heard from the other V4 countries, and the UK representative pointed out that divisive debates in the Council should not be conducted while efforts are being made to proclaim the unity of the EU.

In relation to the Polish issue, Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans welcomed the broad agreement among participants that “the rule of law is the common interest and responsibility of both the Member States and the EU institutions”.

In addition, Mr. Timmermans said that he received the impression that Warsaw is open to dialogue, and he believes that troubling questions can be resolved.

Mr. Takács said that the migration situation was also on the meeting’s agenda, and on this issue he reiterated the Hungarian standpoint, which is that the possible means for stopping migration is a central question. The answer to this is that it must be stopped outside Europe’s borders, he said, stressing that Hungary supports the German-Italian proposal to set up an EU border protection mission on the border between Libya and Niger.

He added that “the standpoints of Member States” on migration is no surprise: they are as rigid as ever.

Mr. Takács referred to a statement by European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, who said that if within one month certain Member States do not accept their quota of asylum seekers for relocation, the Commission will launch infringement procedures against the countries concerned. The Minister of State noted that “this statement by Commissioner Avramopoulos is not that surprising after all” and said that he believes this should be handled appropriately.

Mr. Takács stated that the Government of Hungary is open to dialogue, but this does not mean that the Commission’s stance should be accepted completely.

(Prime Minister's Office)