The governing body of the European Union, the European Commission, is openly challenging one of the principles of democracy: equality before the law.
The Commission against Hungary and Poland: an ideological persecution
A few weeks ago, the European Commission admitted that the delay in the arrival of aid funds for the pandemic to Hungary and Poland and the refusal of their governments to assume certain ideological agendas: “There is a link between the plans and the country-specific recommendations in the European semester,” Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, said, and pointed out the impediments: in the case of Poland, “the independence of the justice system”, and in Hungary “the fight against corruption”.
Last week, Financial Times linked the blocking of EU funds to Hungary and Poland to “human rights” issues: “Poland and Hungary are embroiled in disputes with the EU over rule of law issues including allegations of discrimination against LGBT+ people“, the British newspaper noted. These two issues are the most mentioned in the media when it comes to talking about the causes of the ideological persecution of the European Commission against Poland ajd Hungary, and it is necessary to qualify it this way because under the term “rule of law”, the EU is introducing an ideological agenda that has nothing to do with democratic values and that even puts them under threat.
The Commission’s ideological agenda: abortion and gender ideology
In Counting Stars you could already see some examples of this ideological offensive, such as the EU’s attempt to impose on Poland an agenda in favor of abortion and against an anti-pedophilia law approved by the Polish Parliament, for the mere fact that this norm prevents the imposition of gender ideology in the country, and Brussels’ opposition to the anti-pedophilia law approved by the Hungarian Parliament, in terms very similar to the aforementioned Polish law. Thus, we are not facing an objection from Brussels to alleged violations of the rule of law, but rather an attempt to impose the ideological theses of the left, a thesis to which the European People’s Party has been giving way.
The authoritarian drift of the Spanish socialist and communist government
The clearest proof that the EU offensive against Hungary and Poland has nothing to do with the rule of law is their treatment very different from other member countries. The socialist and communist coalition government of Spain is attacking judicial independence, an attack that began in 2018, shortly after the arrival of the socialist Pedro Sánchez to the presidency of the government. This attack violates the Spanish Constitution and was already harshly criticized by the European Association of Judges (EAJ) a year ago.
The Commission’s silence in the face of attacks on the rule of law in Spain
At that time, in addition, the political opposition denounced these government plans to the European Commission. More recently, in April 2021, 2,500 Spanish judges warned the EU that Spain is going “towards totalitarianism”, denouncing a “clear risk of a grave breach of the rule of law in Spain.” Unlike its excess of zeal against Hungary and Poland, the European Commission has adopted a very low profile in the face of these complaints, avoiding to pronounce publicly and clearly against these attacks on the rule of law in Spain.
While the European Commission remains silent in the face of the authoritarian drift in Spain, last July the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) confirmed that the Pedro Sánchez government violated fundamental rights, specifically the right of movement and the right of assembly, in the first state of alarm decreed in March 2020 with the excuse of facing the pandemic. Spanish media have already indicated that the TC could also shortly declare the unconstitutionality of the second state of alarm decreed by Sánchez for eluding parliamentary control for six months, preventing the control of the government’s work by the Congress of Deputies.
Ten socialist commissioners form the majority group of the Commission
It is hard to understand that the European Commission is keeping silence in the face of these serious violations of the rule of law in Spain, while undertaking a full-blown offensive against Hungary and Poland because their conservative governments refuse to submit to the ideological dictates of the left. The reasons are easy to find. Currently, the majority political group in the body chaired by Ursula von der Leyen is the Party of European Socialists, with ten commissioners. Among them is a Spanish socialist, Josep Borrell, a member of the same party, the PSOE, to which the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez belongs and who in June voted against a European condemnation of the repression in Cuba, shortly after the friendly contacts between the European delegation of the PSOE and the Cuban dictatorship were discovered.
Do the same people who protect the Cuban dictatorship watch over democracy in the EU?
In order to maintain this coalition government, Von der Leyen needs the support of European socialists, who would not allow punishment for his Spanish colleagues. For the current president of the Commission, there is no impediment to attacking conservative governments such as the Hungarian and Polish, in the hands of parties that are not among their European partners, but if she denounced the authoritarian drift of the Spanish government, that could cost her her positio., since she would foreseeably lose the support of the socialists, who would not allow Pedro Sánchez to be punished in any way, in the same way that they defend a communist dictatorship like that of Cuba, which systematically violates human rights. It is absurd to suppose that these same socialists are attacking Hungary and Poland to defend democracy.
Photo: European Comission.
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