Európai Parlament

Enough! Stop it, now!

2020. 03. 24.

József SZÁJER

Radka Maxová, a Czech spokeswoman for the European Liberals, wrote a letter expressing concern to European Union leaders about the rule of law being threatened by a proposed Hungarian law to fight the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. The law would extend the state of emergency introduced on March 11. Ms. Maxová is now collecting signatures for her letter.

So, according to the MP, submitting a law threatens law and order. Nonsense!

Let’s start with some basics, dear Radka Maxová. Today, the number one danger that threatens human life is the coronavirus epidemic. It would be better if you would use your energy to focus on protecting against this threat first and foremost at home in the Czech Republic.

But let us not neglect the rule of law either. 

What I learned at school, and later taught, is that the rule of law is the rule of law. It’s just that simple. The rule of law is of a higher order than other systems because it mandates that a legal framework rules over people, not that people rule over people. I would like to make my fellow Members aware that the rule of law is guaranteed by the extraordinary Hungarian Constitutional order, which is why it is called the legal order …

But for the Czech MEP, according to her letter, the rule of law in Hungary is not sufficient. There is, she says, a need to put the country under EU guardianship, and she calls on senior EU officials to provide just this.

We’re in a war. We are fighting for human lives. With every fiber of our being, all of our efforts are aimed at protecting our countrymen, beloved ones and our own lives. Millions of people are making tremendous sacrifices every hour of each day to help more and more people as quickly as possible to survive this disaster that threatens us all.

The Fundamental Law in Hungary, based on our experience gained from many centuries of challenges, distinguishes between the normal, everyday constitutional operation and the legal situations in which proper defense requires concentrated efforts, increased discipline from citizens and immediate and determined action from the country’s leadership. The latter is subject to the emergency rules of the extraordinary legal orders. In an emergency, the leadership of the country may also take measures that cannot be taken during normal operation, but may be necessary for an effective defense.

In the event of an emergency, certain rights may be restricted or the activities of certain institutions may be suspended. This is incredibly simple; maintaining public order may indeed require enforcement of rules that protect the whole community. Everyone agrees. And yes, if Ms. Maxová has not noticed in recent days, it might be necessary to restrict certain rights, such as the right of free movement for everyone as it exists in peacetime. If this wasn’t legally possible, then some disobedient members of the community would be able to defeat the many protections created by collective effort and renunciations. We have seen examples of this in the world. Some disorderly communities endanger (the life of) entire communities. (For example, if someone attacks a nurse, a doctor or throws a chair at those who are performing their duties, it is the duty of the community, the authorities, to protect them without delay.)

I request the Czech MEP not to support criminals and scaremongers who, under the pretense of freedom of the press, attempt to dismantle our community solidarity at the most difficult of times. Such types are despised by all, and the criminal law of every country defends against them. In an emergency, they can do even greater damage, and therefore the punishment should be even more severe.

Anti-community behavior cannot be tolerated in the fight against danger, and authorities must have the legal means to enforce law-abiding behavior.

Many European countries have extraordinary powers – each in its own constitutional tradition. There is France, for example, where there has been a state of emergency for so long that we hardly remember the date of its introduction. What we Hungarians do, when we can’t count on anyone else, should be left to Hungarians to decide.

Emergency situations require emergency authorizations. Everyone agrees. Because it’s as simple as one plus one. In danger, things are simplified, and the order of importance is clear. Does everyone agree?

Unfortunately not! For some irresponsible Hungarian opposition parties and certain press outlets, the most important thing in an emergency is not to strengthen the defenses of the community but instead continue the unabashed power play they became accustomed to in peacetime. The usual international brigade led by Radka Maxová has now joined in… as well as POLITICO, and the entire well-known “choir” from peacetime.

Do you need more evidence than the astonishing letter of Ms. Maxová to prove what a danger such irresponsible, ideological, anarchist liberalism can pose to the defense of a society in such a situation!

Dear Maxová! Dear POLITICO! Dear Everyone! We do not want to tell you how to protect effectively against the epidemic in the Czech Republic or elsewhere in Europe. Obviously, there is plenty to do there. Deal with it, now! And, please, do not tell us how to protect ourselves from this insidious, invisible disease. Because that’s our responsibility. The effectiveness of the work of Hungarian leaders in the fight against the epidemic will be judged by the Hungarian people, according to their own constitutional system, once normal order returns. 

Are you willing to take responsibility if we lose more human life in Hungary as a result of your stubbornness and unrealistic whining? According to your letter, you want to tell us what we Hungarians can and cannot do. Do you take responsibility for this situation? The majority of Hungarian citizens are satisfied with the measures taken by the Hungarian government during the first two weeks of the emergency. According to surveys, many people demand even stricter measures. So, we say, enough! Stop shouting irresponsibly from the outside! Enough is enough; mind your own business!