Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod wrote an opinion piece for the news portal Altinget under the title ‘Poland and Hungary could undermine foundations of EU’ which Minister of State for International Communication and Relations Zoltán Kovács rejected. His reply was published on the portal on Wednesday.

The head of Danish diplomacy accused Hungary and Poland of “trampling” on democratic values, undermining the independence of the judiciary and calling into question the freedom of the media. Such harsh statements should surely be followed by irrefutable facts, however, he wrote, the Danish Foreign Minister failed to cite a single one, and also failed to reveal the open secret that he remains isolated with his opinion on this issue within his own government, Mr Kovács observed.

In contrast to Mr Kofod’s claim asserting that the rule of law “may well seem to be abstract, but in reality it is unbelievably specific,” the main problem with the rule of law being used as a yardstick for the disbursement of EU funds to Member States is that the term is overly ambiguous. It is simply not right if the awarding of funds depends on a concept which has not yet been properly defined at EU level, the Minister of State pointed out, adding that in the past ten years the EU’s liberal mainstream has practically destroyed the concept of the rule of law.

“We hear that Denmark’s concern related to the functioning of our judicial systems lies in that 52 per cent of Danish exports are bound for the EU’s common market. […] Hungary itself need not be reminded of the importance of the EU’s market. As some 79 per cent of our exports are bound for EU Member States, […] we attach maximum importance to maintaining European norms and values, including the rule of law and other primary considerations,” Mr Kovács wrote.

Finally, he pointed out that “Hungary has no interest in jeopardising these things by undermining the rule of law, restricting the independence of the judiciary or silencing critical media. Foreign Minister Kofod’s lines of argumentation remind us of many others that we have seen so many times before – all about politics, next to nothing about facts”.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)