Hungary acted in accordance with the Treaties when it vetoed
21. 05. 2021.
Hungary acted in accordance with the Treaties when it vetoed the majority position of the European Union on the issue of missile attacks on Israel, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote in an article published on the Prime Minister’s website under the title ‘Samizdat No. 8’ both in Hungarian and English.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s writing released on Friday, on Wednesday in Berlin, the candidate for chancellor of the biggest German political force, the centre-right CDU/CSU said regarding the fact that in recent weeks the council of foreign ministers of the Member States has failed to come to a common position on the issues of Hong Kong and the Israeli-Palestine conflict due to Hungary’s opposition, that it would be necessary to move towards majority decision-making in the European Union’s foreign policy. At a foreign policy forum of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), answering a question about how Hungary could be induced to abandon its ‘block mentality,’ Armin Laschet said one of the central problems of the EU’s foreign policy is that by exercising their right of veto, any Member State can deprive the EU of its ‘acting capacity’.

In his Friday writing, Mr Orbán pointed out that today, a common foreign policy decision can only be made unanimously, while Laschet prefers the will of the majority to be imposed upon the minority in the future. “All of this in the name of Europeanism,” he added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that according to the treaties of the Union, full agreement is needed on important issues such as foreign policy. Hungary, therefore, acted in accordance with the basic treaty when it vetoed. To accuse Hungary of being non-European because it exercised its right set forth in the treaty, is in fact deeply non-European, he argued.

He also highlighted that the states of the Franco-German axis are known to have millions of Muslim citizens whose views cannot be neglected in a democracy. But it also must be taken into account that in Central Europe, the territory of the Visegrád Four — including Hungary — only a negligible number of such citizens live.

“We can also see that most western European countries have entered an era of a post-national and post-Christian concept of life,” Mr Orbán wrote, taking the view, however, that “it cannot be ignored that we still live our lives according to Judeo-Christian values, a Judeo-Christian culture and concept of life.” It is, therefore, clear to us, he continued, that it is not possible to equate a state, Israel, with an organisation on the EU sanctions list.” He added that it is not possible even if President Laschet, on behalf of the Franco-German axis, regards this as the correct EU foreign policy.

It is high time to finally acknowledge that Central European countries, which joined the Union later, are nevertheless equal members of the community of the European Union, the Prime Minister wrote, stressing that “we also have the right to stand up for our beliefs, our allies, and our own interests.”

On Tuesday, the European Union called upon Israel and Palestine to agree on a ceasefire and to abandon acts of violence with immediate effect. At the same time, they sought humanitarian access in the Gaza Strip after an extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers of EU Member States was held via video link. High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said justifying the need for convening an extraordinary meeting that a common EU position must be reached. In answer to a question, he said from among the Member States only Hungary vetoed the EU’s position.

At the Thursday ‘Governmentinfo’ press conference, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said the government takes the view that Israel has the right to defend itself, and finds unacceptable the adoption of a document that treats the State of Israel and Hamas at the same level. Hungarian foreign policy reserves the right to express its opinion upon the adoption of each common position, he added.

Tensions between Islamic organisations in Gaza and Israel were renewed in mid-April after Jewish settlers in the Eastern part of Jerusalem wanted to evict Palestine families from their homes, in response to which protests erupted. Tensions increased further when Israeli police officers clashed with protestors at the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Islamist organisation Hamas started attacking Israel with missiles last Monday, and this provoked Israeli counterattacks. Israeli combat planes and artillery attacked hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip where some two million Palestinians live.

According to health care officials in Gaza, since the beginning of fighting on 10 May, 232 Palestinians, including 65 children have died, and more than 1,900 persons have been injured in Israeli bomb attacks. Israel claims that they have killed minimum 160 fighters in Gaza. Authorities in Israel reported 12 fatalities, and that due to the missile attacks hundreds of people are being treated with injuries.