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Shows of support for Hungarian PM from two EU MEPs

History

The much-maligned Orbán administration received a couple shows of public support from European parliamentary ministers yesterday, including one from a certainly unexpected source indeed.

German MEP Manfred Weber, representing his country’s Christian Social Union and serving as the vice-president of the center-rightist European People’s Party group, published a long essay on the Dods news service TheParliament.com yesterday in which he accused the EU of double standards, as evidence in last week’s Tavares Report on Hungary’s recent civil rights record.

In his statement, Weber described the report as “violat[ing] the cardinal rights of the EU and risks damaging the balance between the European member states” and echoed Orbán’s oft-repeated sentiments in stating that the report “does not mention a single example where the Hungarian government has indeed acted contrary to European values or European law.”

While Weber’s EPP group “strongly supports the commission's findings with regards to some provisions of the Hungarian constitution” and “welcome[s] the fact that the Hungarian government has been delivering according to the European commission's appeals and is in a constructive dialogue with the commission on the few legal issues that still have to be solved,” the MEP feels that the Union overstepped its bounds in attempting to act as a tribunal body.

Meanwhile, the author of the report himself, Rui Tavares of Portugal’s Green Party, backtracked a tiny bit after a reportedly “fruitful” discussion with National Roma Government (ORÖ) head Flórián Farkas on Wednesday. Farkas flew to Brussels to meet with Tavares in the wake of the MEP’s report to defend his party’s actions.

After the meeting with Farkas, Tavares labeled the Orbán government’s Roma policies “exemplary” and stated that the administration was “not racist” in citing the three Roma members among Fidesz’ Hungarian parliamentary delegation and the one Hungarian Roma serving in the EU parliament. Tavares also promised to consult with ORÖ interests should he report on the situation of Roma in Hungary again.

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