Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s consistent disregard for democratic norms can only be resolved if the Hungarian case is brought before the European Court of Justice, argues former MEP Rebecca Harms.
She was speaking at the Zero Corruption Talk – Lessons of Chornobyl in Time of Pandemics conference that was organized by NGOs Anti-Corruption Action Center and Zero Corruption Conference, and broadcast by Hromadske on April 26.
Hungarian leader Viktor Orban had suspended elections – supposedly temporarily – and bypassed Parliament, allowing him to rule by decree, following a law passed in early April. This has, by definition, made him a dictator, and has turned an EU member state into a full dictatorship.
“I am very much in favor of bringing the Hungarian case to the European Court. I think it's very important for the European Union to act based on law and based on rules…” commented Harms, though she added that she is not in favor of cutting E.U. aid to the country.
Hungary presents a clear example of authoritarianism in E.U. member states, points out Harms, adding that Orban’s moves could be used by the leadership of more authoritarian-minded leadership in other member states.
American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, speaking at the same conference, noted that Orban “is using [the coronavirus] as an excuse to grab power on a long term basis,” adding that this represents a threat for democracies in general. But, the political scientist notes, “We have to put constraints around our executive authorities as they deal with the crisis....and at the moment that that crisis looks like it's easing, that those powers should be returned to the people.”