A document of remarkable stupidity has today been released by ALDE, the liberal group inside the European Parliament. It calls for the activation of the procedure of article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union under which “on a reasoned proposal by one third of the Member States, by the European Parliament or by the European Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of the values” of the EU.
The “liberal” MEPs have issued their statement as a reaction to the adoption by the Hungarian Parliament of a package of legislative amendments to the defence law and the adoption of a special law on defence. The new measures strengthen the power of the police and the army in order to implement the EU’s Schengen Agreement and Dublin II Regulation. The Schengen Agreement obliges Member States to ensure that the outside borders of the Schengen area are not crossed illegally – for example by persons who have no visa and who refuse to disclose their identity to the border authorities. The Dublin II Regulation provides that persons seeking asylum in the EU must make a formal application for asylum in the country of first entry.
Like in any other Member State, the laws adopted by Hungary to protect its borders provide for adequate means of enforcement including, as a means of last resort, the use of physical force.
The ALDE group, however, considers the current refugee crisis a good opportunity to settle scores with the Hungarian government, which they hate because of its commitment to marriage, the family, the right to life, the Christian roots of Europe, and everything else that ALDE holds in contempt.
Sophie In’ t Veld, first vice-president of the ALDE Group, sets the – as always, rather shrill – tone: “How much further can the Orbán government go before the Commission and Council wake up? ALDE has been ringing the alarm bells about the Hungarian government for many years. Now the situation is spiralling out of control. [Yes, she’s indeed out of control, isn’t she? And indeed it is true that ALDE has been ringing the alarm bells for five years without interruption. Long enough for everyone to look not take it serious anymore.]
It is absolutely true the European Union is failing Hungary and its neighbouring countries miserably, as they are struggling with a sudden and massive influx of refugees. But the response by the Hungarian authorities is totally unacceptable. [She fails to explain, though, why it is ‘unaccaptable’.]
If Commission and Council remain silent, Europe loses any remaining credibility as a community of values. Impunity is the nail in the coffin of the rule of law” [Precisely this is the reason why the Hungarian government finds that people should not illegally cross the Hungarian border with impunity. Asylum seekers do have the point to use the official bording crossing points, where they can file a request to be granted asylum. This request will then receive due process. But respect for the law and due process appear to be completely alien to Sophie’s thinking…]
Louis Michel, member of the LIBE Committee, has even more aggressive language: “Viktor Orban is clearly contravening the treaties. These men, women and children that arrive in Europe are fleeing bullets and they are now risking their lives facing Orban’s ones. When giving the police and the army the possibility of shooting these vulnerable people, who arrive in Europe seeking protection, Viktor Orban denies our most fundamental values. The line has been crossed; the article 7 of the Treaty has to be triggered.” [This is a very, very shameless lie. The persons now arriving in Europe to claim refugee status have enjoyed reasonable safety in refugee camps in Turkey. They are not fleeing from any bullets, but seeking a better life (which is understandable, but not exactly the same thing). They are under no threat of bullets in Hungary – but as in any other country where the rule of law prevails, they must respect the law and cooperate with the competent public authorities. Shame on you, Louis Michel, for spreading such falsehoods!]
“How far will we allow Orban to plunge his country into this sordid populism and to shame the EU? When will the Commission stop Orban’s undemocratic extravagances which violate EU values and treaties? The autocratic drift of the Hungarian Prime Minister has now such proportions that the Commission can no longer hide behind his immobility and passivity”. [Since when is it “autocratic” for a democratically elected Hungarian Prime Minister to refuse taking orders from a rabid Belgian MEP with no manners, whom no Hungarian has ever elected???]
“Viktor Orban continues to dishonor European values, violating our texts. Immediate sanctions should be implemented. As for the EPP, why are they waiting for before putting an end to its collaboration with someone that insults and disfigures the European project?” [In actual fact it is becoming increasingly clear to the wider European public that Hungary currently is the only EU Member State to understand the seriousness of the situation, and to loyally implement the relevant EU legislation. No “European values” require the EU or any of its Member States to hand over this continent to strangers who arrive in great numbers, whose claim for asylum seems ill-founded from the outset, and who refuse to respect the law from the very moment in which they arrive.]