Since its conception, the rule of law has been one of the core principles of the European Union. However, in recent years, a number of member states have introduced policies that were seen to directly challenge the principle. In 2019, the European Commission started infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland, marking the first time such proceedings were brought against member countries. Despite this, the coronavirus has only served to accelerate existing trends, with Hungary introducing an emergency law to allow Prime Minister Orbán to rule by decree until at least 20 June.
How have these measures been perceived in Hungary? What more can the EU do to better protect the rule of law in member countries? Can the proposal to link respect for the rule of law to EU funds be introduced as part of the next EU budget? Given how much Hungary’s economy relies on the provision of such funds, how could this impact domestic politics?
In this session, the speaker will reflect on these and other questions, as well as discuss Hungary’s broader relations with the EU and its approach to fighting COVID-19.
László Andor, Secretary-General, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (2010-14)
Chair: Vassilis Ntousas, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Academy Fellow, Europe Programme