The second part of the political debate programme called ‘O 5 minút 12’ (‘5 minutes till noon’) on Sunday television was about the Sargentini Report adopted by the European Parliament. Pál Csáky (SMK–MKP) as a MEP who had voted against the report, Monika Beňová (Smer) who had abstained, and Eduard Kukan (non-inscrit) as a supporter of the report were invited to participate in the debate.

Eduard Kukan agreed with the 12 major concerns about Hungary listed in the report and specifically mentioned those concerning freedoms of expression and assembly. Mr. Kukan believes that support for Vikor Orbán is decreasing and there is a chance of a possible break-off between the European People's Party and the Hungarian governing party Fidesz. He said that there is a good chance that Hungary will rectify its current image. He also pointed out that Hungary is not the first Member State against which the European Parliament voted to trigger a sanctions procedure, as this was also the case for Poland.

Pál Csáky observed that Eduard Kukan and the other supporters had made a big mistake by voting in favour of the report, which will have negative consequences on the political process in the European Union. The European Union made several mistakes recently — it didn’t respond well to the migration crisis — and these mistakes could lead to the strengthening of extremist forces. Also, the European Parliament has addressed issues that should be discussed at national level.

The SMK–MKP MEP said that the European Parliament would have adopted similar reports condemning other EU Member States, mentioning Slovakia and the Czech Republic as examples. He recalled what had been happening in the Slovak context: the murder of a journalist, smuggling a person on a Slovak government plane, and an increasing number of corruption cases, which will shortly be investigated by the competent committee of the European Parliament. He underlined that the Sargentini Report does not even meet minimum quality requirements.

Mr. Csáky said that there is a reason for the fact that the rapporteur of the report will not stand in the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament. He drew attention to the fact that the Hungarian Government reacted to the concerns expressed in the Sargentini Report by preparing a factual document of a length of more than 100 pages, and it makes sense that it is not in the position to acquire cold feet a few months before the elections.

 (, 16 Sept 2018)