The robust mandate which the Fidesz-KDNP alliance received in the European parliamentary elections is a great help in European political debates, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at the press conference Governmentinfo 135.

Regarding Fidesz-KDNP’s victory, he highlighted that it is 3 per cent higher than the result achieved in last year’s parliamentary elections. He described the government parties’ result as a record in Europe as they achieved the second best result after the Maltese government party, and within the European People’s Party Fidesz is the strongest party.

Mr Gulyás stressed that they look upon the mandate received from electors as a fixed one, and so they think in terms of a Europe of nations, continue to take an anti-immigration stance, and only support European leaders who share similar views. Additionally, they also see the protection of Christian culture as one of the most important goals, he added.

The Minister confirmed that they do not support either the People’s Party, or the socialist lead candidate – meaning Manfred Weber or Frans Timmermans – for the position of head of the European Commission. Regarding Mr Weber, he said he insulted Hungarian electors when he said that he does not need or want Fidesz-KDNP’s support. “We are able to meet Manfred Weber’s needs, and we will not support him,” he observed. Concerning Mr Timmermans, he said just as the cabinet did everything it could to ensure that George Soros cannot form a government in Hungary, they will likewise do the same to prevent this from happening in Europe.

He highlighted that nominating candidates for the position of President of the European Commission falls within the competence of heads of state and government; this right cannot be restricted.

Mr Gulyás also spoke about the boat accident on the River Danube which happened in Budapest on Wednesday, stressing that the government has demanded a stringent and fully comprehensive investigation covering every detail.

On behalf of the cabinet, he offered his condolences to relatives of the victims and the South Korean people, as 33 of the people on the boat that capsized were South Koreans.

He stressed that the disaster management authority, the police, the ambulance service and the Counter Terrorism Centre did their respective jobs in a coordinated manner, and provided assistance as soon as was possible.

Should the need arise for the amendment of any legal rules due to the incident, they will provide for the enactment of any such amendment, he said in answer to a question.

At the press conference, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the government will initiate with Parliament the deferral of the introduction of the system of administrative courts for an indefinite period of time.

He said in justification that while the government takes the view that the legislation passed fully conforms to European standards and the requirements of the rule of law, the introduction of administrative courts remains in the crossfire of fierce international debates which call the independence of the judiciary into question, even if this is wholly unjustified in the cabinet’s opinion. Until these debates are concluded to everyone’s satisfaction, they propose the deferral of the introduction of the system, regarding which they will submit a motion to the House on Thursday, he informed the press. He added that – accordingly – they will ask President of the Republic János Áder not to appoint anyone for the position of head of the Supreme Administrative Court.

The government’s decision will improve the country’s position in the EU, he stated in answer to a journalist’s question, adding that the country must pay full attention to ensuring that not even concerns should possibly arise in connection with the issue of the independence of the judiciary.

He also said that, in his view, this measure will not have a major impact on Fidesz’s membership of the European People’s Party, but it is certainly not a disadvantage should Fidesz decide to stay within the party family.

He took the view that in doing so the government has taken a step back from the direction leading to liberal rule of law.

He answered the question in the negative whether the decision against the introduction of the system of administrative courts was a condition of the prospective appointment of László Trócsányi as EU commissioner.

Regarding the legislative amendments proposed by Tünde Handó, President of the National Office of the Judiciary, the Minister likewise said he would rather not interfere in the regulation of the organisational system of the judiciary.

In answer to the question as to who could be the successor of Justice Minister László Trócsányi, who was elected Member of the European Parliament, Mr Gulyás said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had a private meeting with Mr Trócsányi this week, and they agreed that Mr Trócsányi would leave his ministerial office effective as of 23 June. There is no decision regarding the person of the new minister at this point in time.

Mr Gulyás said in answer to the question about whom the government supports as President of the European Commission that Hungary is aware of its own place in the EU, and at this point in time it is taking the stance of not supporting either of the two lead candidates, but is happy to consider any other candidate. They would be pleased, he said, if the president of the Brussels commission came from the European People’s Party, but what is most important is not which party family the new leader comes from; what matters most is that the new leader should be suitable for the job.

He quoted the closing statement of the Tuesday EU summit, according to which such a candidate must be found for heading the European Commission who enjoys the support of a qualified majority of the Member States. Neither of the two lead candidates has that, he added.

Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union is also among those whose persons are acceptable for the Hungarian government, he said.

Regarding the Fidesz-KNDP alliance’s EP election result, he also said that based on this it is possible to conclude that in the upcoming municipal elections the government parties will achieve a great victory in Budapest as well.

In answer to another question concerning the Liszt Ferenc International Airport, he said that despite a rise in passenger numbers, no developments have been carried out. While the operator makes “unbelievable” profits, the standard of operations is poor, though there are some promising signs on the horizon.